National Anison Translation Month
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Utsusemi no koi
Ephemeral Midsummer Love
Description: [Harukanaru Toki no Naka De] Tachibana no Tomomasa Song
sung by Inoue Kazuhiko
View romaji/english lyrics
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* The dictionary definition of utsusemi is "(n) cicada, cast-off cicada shell,
man of this world, the real world", and it has an additional poetic-usage
connotation denoting late summer (Julyish). "Man of the world" does seem
plausible, because Tomomasa has a reputation as an indolent charmer, but I
think it's trying to imply "hollow love" / "husk of love" and "transient love"
as much as or more than the "worldly/hedonistic/citified" connotations of "man
of the world". Negitoro from the AnimeLyrics forum says that to him it feels
equivalent to hakanai. I can't get all that into one English line and still
have it sound coherent, so I went with "ephemeral midsummer love" to try to
imply the way that the sound of cicadas makes people feel...
** A kariginu is a type of clothing that Heian noblemen wore; the components
of it mean "hunter's silks", and I think the image is of the hunter becoming
prey, being skinned like that which he hunts, so I didn't want to leave it
untranslated the way I might have despite the fact that it has a specific (and
somewhat untranslatable without a picture) definition as a unit of clothing.
***literally bridge rather than arch, and marks left by fingernails, but I
thought that condensing to "arch of nail-marks" sounded better than trying to
get all that into one sentence. Also, it's grammatically fuzzy what the image
of the curtain of the night was tied to; I also considered giving it as "if,
beneath the curtain of night, you are wakened by the distant thunder..."
**** the word is being pronounced in a way that just means "strings," but the
kanji written indicate koto (Japanese harp-like instrument) strings. In
English "the harp of my heart" sounds more natural than "the koto of my
heart," I think.
Contributed by Risu-chan <[email protected]>