Gackt’s Cats Used To Be So Innocent…

~Revisiting “Koakuma Heaven,” January 7, 2010~

Note: The original, older post & updates remain intact below this preface that’s written in blue. But, the interpretation written in blue is the latest understanding, whereas the original post includes lots of conjectures.

It’s been nearly a year since I put this translation up.  From the beginning, I understood that the song was being sung from the point of view of a woman, and got the impression that the woman was a prostitute.  Once Japanese fans who blog in English started weighing in, well, at least according to one (Mic at her blog Sugar & Spice & Everthin’ Nice), the song was indeed from the point of view of a “whore.” Later, it came to light that there was a magazine called “Koakuma Ageha,” which is targeted at girls and women who prefer a certain style (which, I gather, looks like what GACKT and the models on the cover of the “Koakuma Heaven” single are wearing).

Now, from the comments people have left on this blog, as well as discussions at other predominantly English-language fanblogs, I see that there is disagreement as to whether we should take the girl as a “prostitute.”  Some say the girl is just a hostess, a woman paid to chat and flirt with men, but no more.  Some say it’s not supposed to be all that sexual.

Okay, so the girl in the song is just a hostess.  But from my understanding, while hostesses are forbidden from outright prostituting themselves, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t go on in a few cases.  So, which did GACKT intend?  I don’t know if he’s ever said outright, this song is about a hostess who does not sell sexual services. Frankly, I don’t think that matters all that much. Whether she’s a hostess or a prostitute, she’s selling her services (much the same way that anyone who is employed sells themselves).

As for the song not being sexual, I have to disagree on the basis of what GACKT wrote in English and the simpler Japanese alone.  “With wet lips up and down,” “the numbers I like are 6 and 9,” I mean, short of straight out saying “I’m singing about various sex acts,” the song is sexual.  And, it’s full of double-entendres.  Which pair of “lips” is he talking about?  Again, has GACKT ever said straight out which he intended?  I think he intended for it to be sexual, knowing full well multiple interpretations were possible from what he wrote.

Given more recent comments, I’ve made a few tweaks to the translation.  Overall, I’m 99.9% sure that I got the overarching concept of the song right, and that concept is: the song is sung by a woman who in one way or another is selling herself, and she’s talking about what she does. I’m 80% sure that she is trying hard to convince herself that what she does is okay, but that she doesn’t really think so.

Okay, below, in black, is the original post, and a tweaked translation, with an added note about why I translated 小股者 the way I did.

~~~

If you’re a Gackt fan, you probably know that for whatever reason, live performances of “U + K” from his album MARS feature a bunch of people dancing around in cat costumes on stage. Recently on Gackt’s official Japanese site you can see a clip of a cat dancing to a dance/house style song. For me it’s nigh impossible to understand the robotic voice, but recently the lyrics were posted under “Preparation for the LIVE.” You can see the lyrics on the official site here, but since the kanji are pretty hard to read (because it’s a picture, not text) I typed the lyrics below (increase the text size of your browser to see them more easily, should that be of interest to you).

You don’t even need to be able to read Japanese to see where this is going! (Though I did romanize and translate it below.) How different from the childlike innocence of “U + K”, where these dancing cats first appeared! “Dispar” was pretty perverted, but this is on a whole new level!

The “character” in this song, or the one “speaking,” is a woman. You can tell by the use of the sentence-final particle わ (wa) and the pronoun ウチ (uchi), which is predominantly used by women and children (and I should hope this isn’t a child talking!) But who is she? A girlfriend? A succubus? A hostess? I’m not entirely sure what her role is. And considering this is part of the Rebirth universe, what with its androids, I bet the action of the song is occurring online in some sort of cyber reality, explaining all the emoticons.

(Sorry the verses are all jammed together, I’m having trouble making them align correctly because of the text wrapping.)

小悪魔ヘヴン

巻き髪をかき上げて☆

濡れたリップで Up and Down ★

欲張りッしュに3回戦、4回戦、5回戦...

オシャベリわ 上級者な ѡ デス (*^◻^*)

愛情の欠落わ サイフの厚みで

ガマンしてま〜すゥ m( _ _ )m

恋をするのも 気楽ぢゃないんで

玩張ってま〜すゥ ハイッ(ー_ー#)

ナニが何でも玩張るウチらわ

いいオンナ...なんデス、ハイッ♪

ブチアゲな 曲に合わせ ☆

濡れたヒップを Upside Down ★

好きなナンバーわ6(*• д •)9

ハイッ、脳脳脳脳天気...なんデス \(^o^)/

サイコーな決めポーズで

「本命のカレシ!? wow、性してますゥ !!(^−^)!!」

(ホンだヨ)

イヤになるほどキライぢゃないんで

小股者デス、ハイッ(ー◻ー;)

ナニを何度も玩張るウチらわ

いいオンナ...なんデス、ハイッ♪

恋をするのも気楽ぢゃないんで

玩張ってま〜すゥ、ハイッ v(^-^)v

ナニが駄目でも玩張るウチらわ

いいオンナ...(デショ?)

濃い〜のするのも若くはないんで

玩張ッてま〜すゥ、ハイッ(ー◻ー;)!!

ナニが誰のでも玩張るウチらわ

いいオンナ...なんデス、ハイッ♪

koakuma hevun

makigami wo kakiagete

nureta rippu de Up and Down

yokuburisshu ni (three four five) sankaisen, yonkaisen, gokaisen… [see translation notes below]

OSHABERI wa joukyuusha DESU

aijou no ketsuraku wa SAIFU no atsumi de

GAMAN shitema~suU

koi suru mo kiraku ja nain da

ganbattema~suU HAI

NANI ga nan de mo ganbaru UCHI ra

ii ONNA…nan DESU, HAI

BUCHIAGEna kyoku ni awase

nureta hippu wo Upside Down

sukina nanbaa wa (six and nine) 69 [see translation notes below]

HAI, nou nou nou nou tenki…nan DESU

saiko na kime poozu de

“honmei no KARESHI!? wow, sagashitemasuU”

(HONTO da YO)

IYA ni naru hodo KIRAI ja nain de

komatasha DESU, HAI

NANI wo nan do mo ganbaru UCHIra wa

ii ONNA…nan DESU, HAI

koi wo suru no mo kiraku ja nain de

ganbattema~suU, HAI

NANI ga dame de mo ganbaru UCHIra wa

ii ONNA…(desho?)

koi~no suru no mo wakakunain de

ganbattema~suU, HAI

NANI ga dare no de mo ganbaru UCHIra wa

ii ONNA…nan DESU, HAI

___________________________________

I suppose emoticons are a natural progression for Gackt, who frequently uses odd kanji switches to make double entendres and once used the ♂ and ♀ symbols to correspond to the sung lyrics “angels” and “gods,” respectively. Alright, so here’s my translation of this song, with translation notes at the end marked with [ ]. But note: I am NOT a native Japanese speaker so I’m sure there’s lots of puns and such that I may not even be aware of.

Little Devil Heaven

Running my fingers through your curly hair

With wet lips Up and Down

Greedily, a third round, a fourth, a fifth… [1]

I’m a great conversationlist (*^◻^*)

Lack of affection can be ENDURED

According to the thickness of one’s WALLET m(_ _)m

It’s not easy even if one is in love

I will do my best, YES (-_-#) [2]

WE who do our best through ANYTHING

ARE good WOMEN… YES

In time to the surging melody

Turn the wet hips Upside Down

The numbers I like are 6 and (*• д •)9 [3]

YES, it IS c-c-c-c-carefree abandon [4]

In our set pose,

“A real BOYFRIEND!? I’m searching !!(^_^)!!” [5]

(HEY, it’s TRUE)

I don’t DISLIKE it to the point I find it LOATHSOME,

I AM a woman with a nice body, YES (-◻-;) [6]

WE who do our best time and again

ARE good WOMEN… YES

It’s not easy even if one is in love

I’ll do my best, YES v(^-^)v

Even if SOMETHING is bad, WE who do our best are

Good WOMEN…(RIGHT?)

Even if it’s a deep love, because I’m not young

I will do my best, YES (-◻-;)!!

Even if SOMETHING belongs to someone, WE who do our best

ARE good WOMEN…YES

_____________________________________________

Notes:

[1] He doesn’t actually sing the 回戦 “kaisen,” which is a counter for rounds (of a sports match or game). Instead, he actually says “three, four, five” in English.

[2] The kanji written here for “ganbaru,” to do one’s best, isn’t the usual one. As Gackt chose to write it, 玩張る rather than 頑張る, there is an implication of teasing or taunting.

[3] Gackt sings “six and nine,” not just “six nine” or “sixty nine.”

[4] This one’s a doozy. The word “noutenki,” meaning carefree abandon is usually written 能天気. But Gackt used 脳, which means “brain,” instead of 能, and what’s more, repeated it four times. So, is it carefree abandon in the realm of one’s mind, or…someone is giving/getting really good “brain.” (It’s the latter, in case you hadn’t noticed where this song is “going,” lol.)

[5] Gackt wrote “sagasu,” meaning “to look/search for”, with 性 , a kanji that can be pronounced as “saga”, but usually not in that word and not with that meaning. On its own, that kanji means “sex; gender; nature.”

[6] The phrase 「小股が切れ上がる」is used to refer to “a smart and slenderly shaped woman,” according to Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC.  That’s why I translated 小股者 as “I am a woman with a nice body.”  I understand the feeling of this line and the preceding line as, “I don’t really like my job, but I’ve got the looks for it so why not?”

UPDATE: According to Japanese blogger Mic, this song is about a whore, which is what I suspected given the line about the wallet. Now it really makes sense. See her post here (you have to enter a password though, as specified).

UPDATE (JUNE 5, 2009): Gackt performed this song on Music Station, so I could finally hear what he sung some parts as that were a bit strange and fixed them. See the performanceOr better yet (AKA UPDATE June 7), scroll down to see it in the comments.  Ntkufreak used this translation and romanization to do a subtitled vid! Thanks for that! (A little later)…and the vid’s been taken down.

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