Trump / トランプ

Trump / TORANPU / トランプ: “Playing Cards”

No, this has nothing to do with the current US presidential election.

My first encounter with Trump was while reading solarblade’s reviews back in 2013 or 2014. Piano ballads aren’t really his thing, so of course he found it was boring and said that it wasn’t really worth listening to. Unfortunately, having read his reviews, I listened to the song and, being influenced by his opinion at the time, also found it boring.

However, I listen to it now and I think it’s great, even if the lyrics are a bit painful. She also has a live version of this song on Cinderella, her 2012 single, which I think is just as good, if not better (and as usual, that will be posted eventually).


トランプ by ぐーちゃん [Nico Nico Douga]

I’ve included Edward’s translation below, but as always, you should go read his translation notes as well.

Lyrics →

Garasu no Hana

Garasu no Hana (Hikigatari ver.) / ガラスの花 (弾き語り ver.)

Garasu no Hana (Hikigatari ver.) / ガラスの花 (弾き語り ver.) : “glass flower” (solo piano version)

glass / GARASU / ガラス
Transliteration of “glass”. In some track listings, the title will be shown as “Glass no Hana” because of this, but since it’s a single and it was actually written out as “garasu”, I prefer to keep the roumaji.
no / の
A particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word (almost equivalent to “of”)
hana / 花
“flower”
hikigatari / 弾き語り
“singing to one’s own accompaniment”. With Oku Hanako, the accompanying instrument is a piano.

This version of Garasu no Hana / ガラスの花 can be somewhat hard to find, since it was only included on the limited “Tales” edition.

For a song that sounded impressive because of the arrangement, I was a little skeptical about how Oku Hanako would manage to pull off a hikigatari version without making it boring. Granted, this was before I really knew what she was capable of, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering it. Solarblade thinks it’s boring (as expected), but I disagree. Take a listen and see if you do, too.


ガラスの花 (弾き語り ver.) [music.163.com]

To say the least, I’m impressed. Not everyone can pull off something like this. The reason why she can pull off making a hikigatari version sound so good, apart from being such a talented artist, is because she writes songs to perform them live (if I’m interpreting her history pages correctly). This is why it doesn’t sound empty when she performs her heavily-arranged songs live and hikigatari.

This hikigatari version has this emotion and “closeness” to it that the arranged version doesn’t have. I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two versions because although it’s the same song, they’re better suited for different moods. They’re both really well done.

Lyrics →

Garasu no Hana

Garasu no Hana / ガラスの花

Garasu no Hana / ガラスの花 : “glass flower”

glass / GARASU / ガラス
Transliteration of “glass”. In some track listings, the title will be shown as “Glass no Hana” because of this, but since it’s a single and it was actually written out as “garasu”, I prefer to keep the roumaji.
no / の
A particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word (almost equivalent to “of”)
hana / 花
“flower”

Garasu no Hana was Oku Hanako’s single released on August 4, 2010. There were two versions of the single: the regular CD only edition, and the special limited-edition Tales edition. The song itself was the opening theme for the Japan-only video game, Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X / テイルズ オブ ファンタジア なりきりダンジョンX (pronounced “cross”), released for the PSP, and played right at the beginning. I expect that this, like Garnet / ガーネット, is one of the entry points for a newcomer to Oku Hanako, although applicable to Japan only.

One of the reasons why I chose to post “Garasu no Hana” this week is because it’s been about a year since I first heard it. Like Kawaranai Mono / 変わらないもの, I was hooked instantly, although even more strongly this time.

Hanako Oku – Garasu no Hana by Tadanga [JPopsuki TV]

Amazing! Just amazing! I was blown away, breath-taken, almost driven to tears at how good it sounded. She sings with control, but with power also. The arrangement is different from what she usually does: it’s fuller with a lot more intricate layers. Even after a year, I’m still impressed by it. Not only did she write the lyrics and composed the music herself, as she does with all her songs, I found out that she also arranged it! She doesn’t usually arrange her songs, at least, not until now, and I never expected an arrangement so stunning coming from her. Sure, she can compose, but arranging is another thing, something I know first-hand. Considering everything, Garasu no Hana is definitely one of her best, and one of my favourites.

Lyrics →