exist†trace – Anata

I don’t know why I was thinking that The Only Garden was coming out on the 20th, it comes out today, the 29th. Of course.

Anyway, I’m almost through all the songs on VIRGIN! Woo!

One of the harder things for monolingual, native English speakers to grasp about the Japanese language is that subjects are often omitted, and the word they first learn for “you,” namely “anata,” is hardly ever used in the same way that “you” is used in English. It’s primarily used as a generic “you,” such as is used in any situation where the communication is meant for an unspecified audience (for example, the instructions on a shampoo bottle), or by wives to address husbands, or by people who see themselves having that kind of dynamic with someone. If that’s not the relationship you have with someone, it’s considered rude to call them “anata.”

While I was teaching Japanese, when my students would continue using “anata,” I would get this song in my head. I thought about using this song to really drive the point of not using “anata” home, by saying “This is what you sound like to me when you say that.” I never said it though, because I figured someone who didn’t have my dark sense of humor might get pretty offended. ^o^;

This song uses the pronoun “atashi” for “I,” which is considered very feminine. I’d say it’s a bit unusual for exist†trace, which tends to use the relatively neutral “watashi” or the somewhat masculine “boku,” when pronouns for “I” are used at all. There are also many lines in this song where particles are omitted, which leaves more room for interpretation. Given what miko said in her blog though, I don’t think I’m making this darker than it is. In fact:

Content warning for gore, horror, and references to serial killers both real and fictional.

Lyrics in Japanese can be found here on J-Lyric. Romanization and translation for both the lyrics and miko’s blog post about this song below.


atashi wa kuroi hane wo motsu
tobitatsu kyou mo
chinurareta kairaku

modaeru sugata ga itoshikute
namida ga tomaranai wa

kabe ni kazareba suteki

anata ga suki yo
konna ni suki yo
anata no toiki fukai beniiro ne
kokyuu wa yukidoke kotaeru kodama
hada wo suberu mirai arainagashita

keiren koukotsu nurenezumi
namida ga tomaranai wa

tsuranuku hari to ito de uragaeshi
kuruoshii hodo nani mo wakannai

anata ga suki yo
konna ni suki yo
anata no toiki fukai beniiro ne
kagami wa ryuusen motsurete utsusu
hada wo abaku kako mo owatcha iya nee

anata ga suki yo
konna ni suki yo


I have black wings
Even today, when I’m set to take flight,
There’s pleasure smeared in blood

The sight of you writhing is precious
The tears…they just won’t stop

If I decorated the walls with this…how lovely!

I love you
I love you this much
Your sigh is a deep crimson
Your breathing echoes the thawing snow
I washed away the future sliding on your skin

Convulsing in ecstasy, soaked like a drowned rat1
The tears…they just won’t stop

Turning you inside out with the piercing needle and thread
I don’t understand anything, to the point it drives me mad2

I love you
I love you this much
Your sigh is a deep crimson
The mirror reflects your streamlines in tangles3
I don’t want the past that exposes your skin to end

I love you
I love you this much

miko Blog, May 18, 2012

Today is the tenth day of back-to-back updates. Anything is possible if I put my mind to it, huh? LOL

I’m sure there are people who will read this after listening to the CD first, but I’d like for people who are reading the blog first to reread it while listening to the music. I’m sure there are many things you’ll finally understand that way.

Well then, on to it. Today’s song is “Anata.” With a title like that, if this were J-pop, it would probably be a cute, sweet love song, or a tender ballad about lost love…

But I wouldn’t do something so obvious, now would I?

“Anata” is, in the history of exist†trace, our darkest, most sordid, most extreme love song.

Drums beating like a heart, paired with the dripping low tones from the bass and arpeggios floating through space. Then they come in as if to shred your eardrums: a woman on the verge of a breaking, and an insane guitar.

We trapped everything in us that is “female” inside this song.4

Instead of playing the guitar properly, what became the main part of the recording was something I ad libbed on the spot. It’s so fun expressing madness through musical instruments, I think I might get addicted to it.

Visualize the deepest red, a cellar, covered in blood…

I love you.

I just…love you.

I want you.

All of you.

I want to become one with you even more.

That’s why, yes, I tied you up.

I love you.

I love you this much.

I…love you.

I love you…this much.

1. 濡れ鼠 (nurenezumi) in Japanese just means “wet rat” literally, and is used idiomatically to refer to someone who is fully dressed and soaked to the bone. The English idiom just happens to be “drowned rat,” which fits the vibe of this song.

2. There’s a strange sound in the background while these words are being sung (wailed?), which I think could be a sewing machine. If I didn’t know what the words meant I might also think “old manual typewriter.” But given the reference to needle and thread and turning something inside-out, I’m willing to bet it’s supposed to be a sewing machine, perhaps used to sew the victim’s flesh (though it is NOT explicitly stated what is getting turned inside out). Maybe miko had just seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre or read about Ed Gein?

3. I didn’t know that “streamline” could be a noun. It means “a line along which the flow of a moving fluid is least turbulent.” I considered using “rivulets” instead but…mm, I’m on the fence about it so I went with what was closer to 流線 (ryuusen) which is literally “flow line.” Also, I could be wrong, but I feel like the mirror is shattered, because the lyrics say 「鏡は流線 縺れて映す」rather than 「鏡は縺れた流線映す」which would mean “The mirror reflects the tangled lines.” This has the exact same number of syllables, so the order was important, meaning the lines aren’t actually “tangled,” they’re just reflecting that way. The main thing I can think of that would cause that image is if the mirror had many cracks in it.

4. miko used the word 「オンナ」(“onna” but written in katakana rather than in hiragana or kanji). “Onna” means “woman” but there are more common words for “woman” in a neutral or polite context; “onna,” especially in katakana, has a sexual, somewhat vulgar nuance to it. So I went with “female,” because that word is often used instead of “woman” in a similar context, at least where I’m from (Detroit).

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