Lyrics and Translations

[Translyrics] “Oblivious” and Kara no Kyoukai: An Overlooking View

All Kalafina songs are fairly easy to make English translyrics for – the songs are generally not that upbeat and the rhythms easy to work with (usually, what makes translyrics hard is figuring out which syllables to stretch for more than one note). So since Kalafina songs are so pleasant to translate and because Kalafina happens to be my favourite band, I think I might do the EDs of the entire Kara no Kyoukai series. Each ED incorporates motifs from the movie’s OSTs, as both the EDs and OSTs are composed by Yuki Kajiura and sung by Kalafina.

For “Oblivious” (ED of movie 1: Fukan Fuukei/An Overlooking View), I took a more liberal approach with the lyrics. Even though it’s easily one of Kajiura’s best lyrics, I ended up altering a lot of bits, but in ways that make sense in the context of the film. After all, Kajiura’s best strength as a lyricist is probably her ability to write lyrics that match the anime the song goes with. Here we are —

Oblivious

Knowing too well I can rise up in the air

Like a quiet butterfly,

As I spread my wings I tremble from the height

I’m alone, trapped in the sky

Oblivious,

Where are you heading for?

That faraway mirage you sought for with abandon

Someday, it’ll leave you in tatters

Our future days, all but an illusion

Now when two hearts cross to share one emptiness

In an embrace ever so tight

True sorrow rises from within the gap

Look, it sets its wings to flight

Oblivious,

I reach for the daylight,

Before I wake to realize it’s the middle of the night

Like a moth, I know I’ll die plunging

Into the light

I believe   you and I   will exceed   even the night

And the morn, And the noon, And the stars, And the dews

And the spring, And the fall, And the winds, And the times

And the seas, And the lands, And the skies

“We go further in the destiny”

Oblivious,

Promise that you’ll be there?

With growing weight, this love is getting difficult to bear

Someday, it’ll quaver and tumble

Towards a future for two

Oblivious,

Where are you heading for?

That narrow stream will ebb and flow until eternity

With a song, so mournful and holy

The path ahead is gently unfolding

Notes:

  • The butterfly metaphor was one of the things that stuck out to me from the film, so I made the choice of alluding to it in my translyrics. Kokutou mentions dreaming of a butterfly chasing after a dragonfly. In fear of falling behind, the butterfly flaps its wings furiously, but ends up dropping dead from exhaustion. Kokutou’s final comment on it is that the butterfly would have stayed in the air if it was satisfied with just drifting, but it chose to fly and caused its own death. The idea of drifting vs. flying, wandering vs. searching struck a chord in me.
  • The moth plunging into the light was also something I added, just because it felt appropriate. Perhaps Kirie Fujo, the antagonist behind multiple suicides of high school girls, is really more of a moth – the butterfly’s overshadowed cousin. Despite the gloom, Kirie is full of self-destructive passion – the passion to see the world around her and escape her life of immobility and neglect – which adds to her resemblance to a moth.
  • “We go further in the destiny” doesn’t really make sense, but it was originally in English, so I left it like that.
  • “[M]ournful and holy” was borrowed from my favourite poem, “The Lady of Shalott” by Lord Alfred Tennyson. It was originally used to describe the titular Lady as she sang her last song in a boat flowing towards the city of Camelot, where she dies. I think it echoes the “destiny” part nicely, though the last line in the song gives it a hopeful twist.

kara no kyoukai butterfly

So that’s all I have today! A late Merry Christmas to everyone, and Happy Boxing Day if you’re in Canada or the UK~ I don’t have the courage to brave the Boxing Day crowd, so I’ll probably stay home and enjoy the warmth of my room and slowly obliterate the gingerbread army that I baked.

4 thoughts on “[Translyrics] “Oblivious” and Kara no Kyoukai: An Overlooking View

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