blue green

blue green

“blue green” is track 3 of Oku Hanako’s 2014 album, “Kimi to Boku no Michi” / 君と僕の道. Out of the new songs on that album, this must have been the second one I listened to (the first one being Period / ピリオド). Just like Period / ピリオド did, this song left me breathtaken the first time I heard it.

We have a translation today by Edward from the Chinese translation. Be sure to head over to his site to read the translation notes. To quote Edward:

The lyrics appear to be about the singer breaking up with the listener. This surprised me because I found the tune mesmerising and tranquil, so I was expecting the lyrics to be about a reflection on living instead of on a romance.

Edward and I also exchanged some ideas about the meaning of the title “blue green”. Based on the information in an article about the meaning of colours in Japanese culture, we think it could refer to the purity or genuineness that the singer wants in her relationship. With all the references to the sky in the lyrics, it could also allude to the sky’s colour. While researching this, I also came across an interesting Wikipedia article discussing blue/green distinction in different languages.

blue green by Mochammad Farhan Amrozy [SoundCloud]

The reverberation in this song really adds the feeling of being alone in a vast expanse, and with all the references to the sky and being alone, it certainly fits. It kind of reminds me of “rebirth” with a drum line like Tsumiki / 積木.

Arrangement-wise, this song is actually pretty light in its instrumentation. From what I hear, the accompaniment is her keyboard with a lot of reverb, the drums and a synthesizer lead. I’m actually surprised that it sounds really full even with just these, but I guess a 16ths rhythm on the drums and adding lots of reverb is enough to do that.

Lyrics →

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Dosanko Hanako no Uta / どさん子華子のうた

Dosanko Hanako no Uta / どさん子華子のうた: “The Song of Hanako of Hokkaido”

dosanko / どさん()
“a person from Hokkaido”
Hanako / (はな)()
A female given name (the same one in Oku Hanako / 奥華子)
no / の
A particle indicating the previous words modify the following word.
uta / うた
“song”

“Dosanko Hanako no Uta” is one of those songs from the third disc of Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-, the disc included exclusively in the HANAKO BOX special limited edition.

According to what I can gather from Wikipedia[jp], this song has its roots in Oku Hanako’s radio show on STV Radio[jp] called “Oku Hanako no Dosanko Hanako” / 奥華子のどさん子華子 (“Oku Hanako’s Hokkaido Hanako”). The lyrics were made from submissions by the listeners of the radio program in 2011.


奥華子(오쿠하나코) – どさんこ華子のうた(훗카이도 하나코의 노래) by City Eternal [YouTube]

If I were hearing this song for the first time, I could probably guess that this was a radio song. This song has characteristics of her other radio songs: acoustic with a simple melody; nothing too fancy, nothing too complex, and the lyrics are probably straightforward.

It’s too bad I don’t have a translation for you today because it looks like the lyrics have some interesting verses. Equally interesting is that the song’s accompaniment seems primarily dominated by the guitar instead of the keyboard for most of the song, and the lyrics mention something about a guitar case. The lyrics also mention the Asahiyama Zoo and somehow ties it in with the singer wanting to waddle like a penguin.

Lyrics →

Kimi no Egao (album ver.) / 君の笑顔(album ver.)

Kimi no Egao / 君の笑顔: “Your smiling face” or “Your Smile”

kimi / (きみ)
“you”
no / の
A possessive particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word (almost equivalent to “of”)
egao / ()(がお)
“smile”, “happy face”

This album version of “Kimi no Egao” might be more familiar to most Oku Hanako fans than the original hikigatari version. The original was the first and title track of her 2011 concept album, Kimi no Egao -smile selection-, which then reappeared as track 7 on the second disk of her 2012 compilation album Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-. The album version was track 7 on her 2011 album, good-bye.

It has recently resurfaced (May 7, 2017) as the featured song in a PV for the yuri manga series called the Kase-san Series. The PV is titled “Kimi no Hikari: Asagao to Kase-san.” / キミノヒカリ ~あさがおと加瀬さん。~ (English title: “Your Light: Kase-san and Morning Glories”). It continues to make me wonder if Denny was right. Then again, I haven’t seen any announcements about this from Oku Hanako’s official streams, so it’s likely that she had minimal interaction with the project.

The video has some very light yuri and is relatively “safe” (mostly glances and some hand-holding), but there is a brief kissing scene at 2:55. Be warned.


【あさがおと加瀬さん。】 アニメーションクリップ「キミノヒカリ」【Kase-san and Morning Glories】 by Anime PONY CANYON [YouTube]

Compared to the original, I think this album version is over-arranged. I had once described it as having been arranged for the sake of arranging it, trying to put in as many fancy embellishments as they could. I found the arrangement distracting and unnecessary. I still think so to some degree, but like many of her songs that I didn’t like at first, I slowly came to appreciate it. That said, I think that the original is significantly better and I would prefer to listen to that over the album version every time.

Lyrics →

Aitai Toki ni Aenai / 逢いたいときに逢えない

Aitai Toki ni Aenai / 逢いたいときに逢えない: “I Can’t See You When I Want”

aitai / ()いたい
“want to meet”. This is the desire form of 逢う (“to meet”).
toki / とき
“time”, “when”
ni / に
A particle indicating the time of reference
aenai / ()えない
“cannot meet”. This is the negative potential form of 逢う (“to meet”).

“Aitai Toki ni Aenai” is track 5 on Oku Hanako’s 2010 album “Utakata” / うたかた. Being placed between the more energetic “Hane” / 羽 and the slower “Trump” / トランプ, it serves as a good transition both in tempo and in mood between the two songs.

Although I don’t have a translation for you today, it seems to be a song in which the singer can’t get over her break-up and can’t help but keep loving her former partner.


逢いたいときに逢えない 【奥華子】 by Phys peop [YouTube]

If I’m not mistaken, that’s an accordion in the accompaniment, perhaps her only song that has one.

Lyrics →

Kumo Yori mo Tooku / 雲よりも遠く

Kumo Yori mo Tooku / 雲よりも遠く: “Further Than Even the Clouds”

kumo / (くも)
“cloud”
yori / より
“more than”
mo / も
A particle meaning “also” or “even”
tooku / (とお)
“distant”

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower peaks this Friday night/Saturday morning, and meteors are certainly farther than the clouds.

“Kumo Yori mo Tooku” is the first track on her self-produced indies single vol.1, reappearing again as the second track on vol.best.

I never realized how much of a sad song this is. We have a translation today by Icepath that reveals the singer longing for a former lover who left her for someone else. Her love is out of reach, further than even the clouds. Heavy stuff; this is her indies for you.

The chorus features Oku Hanako trying to hit higher notes. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t hit them as well as she would today (for example, see Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物); it comes out a little airy and a bit jarring. Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend having someone new to Oku Hanako’s works listen to this just yet. For those of us who have been fans for a while, we can use this to show just how much she’s improved as a singer. That said, I’ve heard this song enough times that it doesn’t sound out-of-place for me.


Kumo Yori mo Tooku-Oku Hanako **Sub español+ Letra romaji** by Azura Allazjward Kurosu [YouTube]

She really brings out the longing in her singing, and the hikigatari piano adds a fitting sense of loneliness.

On the lyrics, I wonder if the singer is actually meant to be male. The singer went to lengths to buy a ring, which is traditionally bought by the man, and she uses the masculine pronoun boku / 僕.

Lyrics →

Chiisana Hoshi cover art (crop)

Chiisana Hoshi (Oyasumi version) / 小さな星(おやすみversion)

Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星 : “tiny star”

chiisana / (ちい)さな
“small”, “tiny”
hoshi / (ほし)
“star”
oyasumi / おやすみ
“good night”

This one is a rare find. You were probably aware that Chiisana Hoshi was released as a single in 2006, and you might have been aware that it was one of her indies songs released on vol.best, but did you know that there’s a third non-live version? Look again at the 2006 single: the last track is this “oyasumi” version. This version appears to serve as the hikigatari version of the single; whereas her later singles featured instrumental versions, her first five singles featured hikigatari versions.


小さな星(おやすみversion) [Nico Nico Douga]

It certainly lives up to its name. Her soft singing and heavy reverberation of the accompaniment really makes it sound like a lullaby. Her vocalization at the interlude and at the end is a nice touch.

This version reminds me a lot of one of her indies song, Waratta Kazu / 笑った数. I’m not surprised, though, since Chiisana Hoshi was originally an indies song, and this version was released close enough to her major debut that her indies era still had a great influence on her style.

Comparing it to the other versions, although I like this version, I still prefer the original indies version; it strikes a nice balance between this version and the single version. All the reverberation in this version can be a bit difficult to get through sometimes, and I feel the single version loses some of the feeling of the original in its arrangement.

Lyrics →

Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街

Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街: “The Streets Where I Was Born”

boku / (ぼく)
“I”, usually masculine
ga / が
Particle indicating the subject of the modifying clause
umareta / ()まれた
Past tense of umareru / ()まれる, “to be born”
machi / (まち)
“street”, “district”, “quarter”

“Boku ga Umareta Machi” is the second track on Oku Hanako’s 2007 album “TIME NOTE”. Fittingly, it was used as the CM song for a 2007 Chiba Prefecture tourism commercial (she was born in Chiba).

Unlike her more recent albums, half of the songs on “TIME NOTE” were hikigatari. This song was in the half that wasn’t.


奥華子_僕の生まれた街 by レオン・シュタイナー [Nico Nico Douga]

While coming up with things to say in this post, I accidentally wrote a translation (apparently in less time than the rest of the post). I haven’t checked it for any idioms and less obvious subtleties, but I think it’s clean enough to post. My translation notes are available.

Commercial and lyrics →