Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Translation: Ai Senshi (Inoue Daisuke)

The theme song from the second Gundam movie, Ai Senshi has got to win some kind of award for total disconnect between music and lyrics. The lyrics lament the sorrow caused by war, raise doubts about its purpose, and describe the carnage left on a battlefield in a way that is really pretty gruesome. The only hope offered is that of a faint, longing prayer.

The music, by contrast, is pretty great for dancin'.

Still, it's a pretty classic song, and has been covered many, many times, most recently by the likes of Gackt, JAM Project, and even Andrew W.K. (The latter did a singable English version, which I tried to avoid, hoping to leave my own translation unspoiled.)

Of course, the classic version is sung by Inoue Daisuke, and that's the version you can check out here on YouTube.

(Incidentally, I wish that all of the English languages's best words to describe someone genuinely worthy of pity hadn't been twisted with derogatory implications. The urge to translate the title as "Wretched Soldiers" was immense.)


The song is romanized from kanji provded here.

Song Title: Ai Senshi (Pitiable Soldiers)
Artist: Inoue Daisuke
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam (Movie 2)

ai furueru ai
sore ha wakareuta
hirou hone mo moetsukite
nureru hada mo tsuchi ni kaeru
kouya wo hashiru shinigami no retsu
kuroku yugande makka ni moeru


Pity, shaking pity
That is their parting song
We gather their bones, now reduced to char
Their stained flesh now returned to the earth
The columns of death rush over the wasteland
Contorted and black, burning in crimson

ai inochi no ai
chi no iro ha daichi ni sutete
arata na toki wo hiraku ka
ikinokoru ai senshitachi
kouya wo hashiru shinigami no retsu
kuroku yugande makka ni moeru


Pity, the pity of life
The color of blood stains the land
Will they open up a new age?
These survivors, these pitiable soldiers?
The columns of death rush over the wasteland
Contorted and black, burning in crimson

shi ni yuku otokotachi ha mamorubeki onnatachi ni
shi ni yuku onnatachi ha aisuru otokotachi he


From all the dying men, to the women they protect
From all the dying women, to the men that they love

nani wo kakeru no ka nani wo nokosu no ka
I pray, pray to bring near the New Day


What do we put at risk? What will remain for us?
I pray, pray to bring near the New Day

ai kanashimi no ai
ima ha nokoru dake
na wo shiranu senshi wo uchi
ikinobite chihedo haku
hayate no gotoki shinigami no retsu
aragau sube ha waga te ni ha nai


Pity, sorrowful pity
Now, that is all that remains
Shooting down soldiers, not knowing their names
Surviving a moment longer while coughing up blood
The columns of death rush with the force of a gale
And we have no means to oppose them

shi ni yuku otokotachi ha mamorubeki onnatachi ni
shi ni yuku onnatachi ha aisuru otokotachi he


From all the dying men, to the women they protect
From all the dying women, to the men that they love

tatakau otokotachi ha furusato no onnatachi ni
tatakau onnatachi ha shinjiru otokotachi ni


From all the fighting men to the women of their hometowns
From all the fighting women to the men that they believe in

nani wo kakeru no ka nani wo nokosu no ka
I pray, pray to bring near the New Day


What do we put at risk? What will remain for us?
I pray, pray to bring near the New Day

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