exist†trace — WONDERLAND

Happy May Igu Day!

Now that The Air Moon is done, I’d like to get through all the songs on VIRGIN. I’m gonna try to post on the 1st, 9th, and 19th to make it a routine. Though I’ve done a couple of songs from this album already, I figured I would just go in order for the rest of them. So, we come to the first track, “WONDERLAND.”

Lyrics in Japanese can be found here on J-lyric. Below you will find my romanization of the song lyrics, followed by the English translations of the lyrics and miko’s blog post about this song.


hosoi tsuki ga warau kikaijikake no machi
omokage wo nokoshita ARISU ga kita

yukikau shinda me no kuchi wo nuwareta hito
hadaashi no shoujo ni wa mimuki mo sezu

tachikomeru kokuen wo osore
“katate no kasou sekai” he

tsukisasaru kyouki no kotoba wo se ni uke
yukiba no nai ikari wo ima sakenda
doko made mo tsuyoku doko made mo azayaka ni
dareka ga kizuku made

denshoku no monokage warau shiro usagi ni
hidoku kobiritsuita furachina iro

todoroku raiu nogare sugaru1
“katate no kasou sekai” he

tsukisasaru kyouki no kotoba wo se ni uke
yukiba no nai ikari wo ima sakenda
doko made mo tsuyoku doko made mo azayaka ni
dareka ga kizuku made
doko made mo tsuyoku kurikaeshi sakenda
ano ko ga kizuku made


A sliver of moon sneers over the mechanized streets
Alice has come to retrace her old steps2

People with dead eyes and sewn mouths come and go
Without so much as a glance at the barefoot girl

Afraid of the encircling black smoke
To “the other side, the imaginary world!”3

I take the murderous words’ stab in the back
Releasing my unguided rage in a scream
I’ll remain strong and vibrant to the bitter end
Until someone notices

A white rabbit sneers under cover of festooned lights
Bathed in their lurid colors

Escape the roaring thunderstorm, pleading,
To “the other side, the imaginary world!”

I take the murderous words’ stab in the back
Releasing my unguided rage in a scream
Strong and vibrant to the bitter end
Until someone notices
I kept on screaming, strong to the bitter end
Until that girl notices

miko blog, May 9, 2012

There are now just 13 days until VIRGIN‘s release!

Speaking of 13, there are 13 tracks on the album…

So, over the next 13 days, I’d like to share a little bit of background and making-of stories for each song, one per day. Those who don’t want to read about the album before hearing it for themselves should probably avoid this blog for a while.

Well then, let’s get right to it with the first song, “WONDERLAND”!

Of all the songs on the album, this one has most inherited the sound from our indie days. The symphonic sound, solemn band, and Jyou’s gallant singing. If I had to classify it, guess I’d put it into the same group as “liquid.” I totally think it’s fitting for us to pick such a song as the opening track of our first major label album. After all, this is where our roots lie.

This is the first time I’ve put a phrase played with the “bottleneck” style into a song. That’s when you play with a tube over one of the fingers of your left hand. That said, it’s arranged quite a lot compared to the usual bottleneck style, so it ended up with a mysterious quality to it. It’s right in the middle of the song, so pay close attention to that part.

That little girl came from an imaginary world to see a “wonderland.”

And that “wonderland” was the heartless real world.

Please look forward to it.

1. It sounds to me like Jyou sung 雷雨 as “raime” or maybe “rai-ame.” The official reading is “raiu” (exactly how the average American mispronounces the name of Street Fighter character Ryu). Maybe “raime” is a regionalism?

2. The kanji used in the first line for “warau” (to laugh) is 嗤 rather than 笑. The former implies an insulting laugh, so I went with “sneer.” In the second line, the lyrics literally say “Alice, who had left her traces [here], has come.” But I couldn’t find a way to use those words without being clunky. (“Alice has come back here, where her traces had remained”? “Alice had left traces of herself here, and now she has come back”?)

3. As a compound 仮想世界 (kasou sekai) usually means “virtual world,” but in this context I think miko meant the two words to be taken literally as “imaginary world.” Especially since the “mechanized” world is set up in contrast to it, and a virtual world is mechanical in a sense even if what it shows you is some vision of Arcadia. Whatever the case may be, this phrase is modified by 片手の (katate no), which taken literally means “one handed” or “in one hand.” That is also the only definition you’ll probably see in a Japanese-English dictionary, but a Japanese dictionary will give you at least 4 other possible meanings, including 「相対するものの一方。かたがわ。」(“One of a pair of things that face each other. One side” (according to the Super Daijirin). Hence why I went with “the other side, the imaginary world.” I was tempted to say “through the looking glass,” but that’s another story.

Lastly, as can often be done in Japanese through the unique function of particles, the verb isn’t stated, rather it’s implied. The particle へ (pronounced “e”) would be followed by a verb like “go” or “take [someone] to.” In this case, the second instance of this line, along with what miko said in her blog, make it clear that this is Alice asking to go back to her imaginary world.

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