exist†trace – TRUE

This is the song that made me an exist†trace fan.

Like “Unforgive You” from Twin Gate, this song’s lyrics seem so specific to me. I thought it had to be about some specific event, or perhaps some particular law or practice within society. Who are the hypocrites and the good people who stand by and do nothing? Do nothing about what? Or is it meant to be generic, applicable to the countless times we see wrong-doing and choose to look away, or think that maybe it’s not as bad as it seems?

As of this writing, there are seven posts tagged “TRUE” on miko’s blog. Four of those are specifically about this particular song. Below the lyrics, I’ve translated the first of those four in full, translated an excerpt from the second one, and summarized the contents of the third and fourth posts.

The lyrics to the song can be found here on J-lyric. Romanization and translation below the video.

Side note: I apologize for how tiny the text of footnotes has been on this blog, and feel so dumb for how I was writing the HTML for them. I had tried to solve the issue myself but couldn’t come up with the exceedingly simple solution my brother gave me today. I probably won’t go back and fix the dozens of posts with this issue but rest assured I won’t be making that mistake again! (Edit 12/26/2021: I actually did go back and fix this. I didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.)


Shot to the limit… genkai no saki e

totsuzen no ame ni utare tachitsukusu kimi wa kubi wo futta
shiranakute ii wakare no saki ni musunda jiyuu no kakumei

hitsuyouaku to iu na no yoroi wo matoi tachiagatte mo
uta wo wasureta zennin no mure wa kyou mo chinmoku suru

“kore ga seigi da” to gizenshatachi ga wameku
sou sa tenbin wa yurenagara mayou

hikigane wo hiku sono shunkan ni mune wo shimetsukeru kimi no koe ga hibiku
sore demo karenai shoudou ni kogare genkai no saki e

hitoriyogari no heiwa wo kakageru mono wo nejifusereba
todokanu kimi wo deguchi no nai meiro kara sukueru no ka

“kore ga seigi na no?” midare hajimeru retsu
sou sa kono sekai ga yuragu toki wa kita

hikigane wo hiku sono kanshoku ni ikari to kanashimi kanjou subete kasane
tatakitsukeru ame no senritsu boku wo sabaita

ano toki te wo hanashita hontou no imi wo ietara…

hikigane wo hiku sono shunkan ni mune wo shimetsukeru kimi no koe ga hibiku
sore demo karenai shoudou wa ima mo
hikigane wo hiku sono kanshoku ni mirai wo negatta kioku subete kasane
itsumademo asenai ano merodii tsurete genkai no saki e


Shot to the limit… Go beyond the limits

Stopped by the sudden beating rain, you shook your head
You don’t want to know the revolutionary freedom gained by parting

Even if they stand equipped in the armor of “a necessary evil”
The flock of good people, having forgotten their song, stands silent again today1

“This is justice,” the hypocrites yell out
That’s right: the scales tremble, lost

The moment I pull the trigger, your heart-wrenching voice rings out
Even so, I’m ablaze with an undying impulse Going beyond the limits

Though I can’t reach you, if I hold down those who uphold a smug peace
Will I be able to save you from the exitless labyrinth?

“Is this justice?” The line begins to falter
That’s right, the time has come to shake up this world

With the feel of my finger pulling the trigger,
anger and sadness, all my emotions jumble together
The melody of the pelting rain passes judgement on me

That time, I let go of your hand Ah, if I could have said what I really meant…2

The moment I pull the trigger, your heart-wrenching voice rings out
Even so, even now, the undying impulse…
With the feel of my finger pulling the trigger,
all my memories of wishing for the future jumble together
Accompanied by that unfading melody, going beyond the limits

miko Blog, June 8, 2011 “Wednesday”


The hydrangeas are in bloom outside of the pre-production room. [Photo] The rainy season is getting serious now, too.

Anyway, today’s Wednesday, meaning…?

There’s only one week left until TRUE goes on sale! I think everyone must be feeling like, “Finally! Just one week to go!” But somehow, having made it this far, the thought that “Finally, there’s only one week to go until we can get this to everyone,” kinda makes me lonely? sentimental? at the same time. I know that everyone’s waiting, but with such a cool release, it’s like I wanna keep it all to myself a little longer. LOL Meaning that’s just how confident I am in this one.

Of the songs on the EP, today I’d like to explain the title track just a little bit.

I think all of you have heard a snippet of it on our official site or the radio. It’s an explosion of Igu’s color and character! Who would’ve thought we’d bring out a song like this for our first? Well, it’s fitting for us, isn’t it? LOL

This song is about “My own justice.” For example, even if everyone around you opposes you, you stick to your own justice. That itself is exist†trace’s current stance. As it turned out, it’s something we want to shout out for all the world to hear. So, we want all of you to listen to “TRUE,” and within the mundane trappings of everyday life, believe in yourself.

But this song doesn’t just stop there. It portrays a hero who, along with standing up for what they believe in, is at the start of a revolution and the end of a romantic relationship.

Just what does the expression of the “sound” lurking throughout the lyrics represent? I want you to search for it carefully.

All that said, it’s such an energetic song that more than anything else, I want to go head-to-head with you guys on it during the live shows!

Of course, this song will be the centerpiece of our one-man show at Shibuya BOXX next week, so I recommend that all of you, even if you don’t have much time, study at least this one song thoroughly in advance. LOL

The show’s just right next weekend too. I want that time to be NOW so badly it hurts. After all, since the live show in the U.S., I’ve been shut in underground for a month and a half. All I can think about is meeting all of you, so much so that I dreamt I was on my way to BOXX. But I woke up right as I was about to get there, so ugh! I was frustrated. LOL

Please come to satisfy me!

miko Blog, June 12, 2011 “Going beyond the limits”

Note: For this post, I’ve translated only the last half, as the first half is explaining another song. Well, this second half isn’t really about just this song, it’s about the TRUE EP and what going major meant to the band, which I found interesting so here it is.

We’ve put so much painstaking work and effort into these five tracks. With this EP in hand, we are confidently breaking into the majors.

It seems there are still some people who worry that going major will change Igu or its members, but…sheesh. What are they worrying for?

Do the people you’ve been coming to see all this time have such fickle hearts? Do you think we haven’t been thinking about all of you, to the point where we could forget you so easily?

Just like the title TRUE, from here on out I want to keep making music without lies or deceit. I think if that weren’t the case, there would be no point in going major.

Going major isn’t our goal. It’s a point we’re passing through, a step toward making more friends and colleagues who are strong and dependable, growing our precious family with new members.

Our dream is immeasurably huge. But it’s a dream that can’t come true if our hearts aren’t linked with every single one of you reading this right now. So come on! Let us see you! Introduce yourselves! Every single one of you, together with our music, becomes a great source of strength, so our family can go anywhere.

So let’s go then, beyond the limits!

miko Blog, May 16, 2012 “TRUE”

Note: For this post and the next, I think a paraphrased summary is sufficient.

So, to briefly paraphrase the post: miko talks about how she enjoys getting comments on the blog and can learn new things from the comments, so she requests that people do so even if they’re not sure what to write. She reveals that “TRUE” has been remixed for the album version but that it’s not different enough from previous versions to label it “Remix”; the changes made were to make the song mesh with the others on the album better. miko then goes on to say that lately (at the time) she was getting lots of messages from (amateur? cover?) bands saying they play exist†trace songs, and she encourages them to try playing “TRUE” too, saying that whoever plays her part should listen to the intro carefully as she was using a pitch shifter.

miko Blog, March 7, 2017 “Giving the Promised Melody”

This post includes a tab for miko’s part of this song, which she had promised to give fans in a discussion over on Twitter. It’s a “reverse birthday gift” from her. She warns that there are a few mistakes in it but to not worry about it too much and play by ear for those parts. She also goes into technical things about tuning that I find interesting—but can’t be sure I fully understand so I’ll refrain from attempting to translate them. Near the end she shares a “secret” about the song, namely that live, Jyou tends to fall behind the rhythm on the “tata” in the line “tatakitsukeru ame no senritsu.” I guess she had it worked out for the performance that was included on the VIRGIN DVD, because I really can’t hear a difference as far as speed.

1. I’m not 100% sure about this, but I am pretty sure that this line is a reference to the children’s song “Canary” by Yaso Saijou, which begins 「唄を忘れたカナリヤは」(uta wo wasureta kanariya wa, “The canary that forgot its song”). You can see one translation here. The song seems to be known in the English-speaking world primarily from its use in the anime Shangri-La, you can see a clip of that here.

There isn’t much information available about this song in English online; I actually ended up reading several scholarly journal articles on JSTOR about Saijou but they didn’t have much about this song in particular. I think the metaphor is pretty similar to the concept of people as “sheep,” and the meaning is pretty close to the Edmund Burke quote, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” To me, just reading the lyrics of the song, I take it as a message of not discarding things that are no longer serving what we think is their purpose; by extension even these “good people” who stand by and do nothing should be given a second chance. In my online research I also found this interpretation which mentions the phrase can be used to refer to people “losing their way.”

2. As the tense of a conditional sentence of this sort is determined by the final verb in the sentence, and that final verb is omitted here, there’s a possibility that this clause should be “Ah, if I could say what I really mean” in present tense. That is, there must be some hidden meaning to saying “That time I let go of your hand.” However, I think the more likely interpretation is something more like “I let go of your hand because I couldn’t say what I really meant,” so I went with past tense.

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