Friday, April 2, 2010

Translation: Kamen Rider Agito (Ishihara Shinichi)

Generally speaking, people who sub Japanese series really don't put enough time into the song translations. I don't know why this is. I mean, people are going to see that translation over and over -- anywhere between 13-52 times, depending on the length of the series. If the translation doesn't make sense, then sooner or later, the audience is going to notice.

It's especially galling when you're dealing with a song that is really deeply about the show it precedes. I mean, someone spent a lot of time writing that song, trying to create something that would give the Japanese audience a sense of what they're about to watch. If you're a translator, why wouldn't you want to give the English-speaking audience that same benefit?

So without further ado, here is my translation of the opening to wonderful series Kamen Rider Agito. If you don't know the song, check it out here on YouTube.

Song Title: Kamen Rider Agito
Artist: Ishihara Shinichi
Series: Kamen Rider Agito OP

(Kanji source is the Song Attack Ride Second album.)

"yami no naka mitsumeteru...
te wo nobashi tsukamitore kimi motomeru mono"


"You stand, staring into the dark...
Now reach out your hand... and grasp what you are searching for."


mata dareka ga heiki na kao wo shite
yume dato warattemo...


Even if, once again, someone laughs at you
And says, with a smile, that it was just a dream...


Ready to go, Count ZERO Kamen Rider Agito!
kimi no mama de kawareba ii
Here we go, Count ZERO Kamen Rider Agito
ima kimi ga inai to... Get on!


Ready to go, count zero! Kamen Rider Agito!
You must become more than what you are
Here we go, count zero! Kamen Rider Agito!
We need you with us, now... Get on!


"atarashii hokori ni ha...
atarashii... itami sae tomonau darou"


"I suppose that with every new pride...
There must always be... new pain"


sono daremo ga akiramesou na
nanika ni tachiagaru...


And with that, you stand up against the things
That would make anyone else back down


Ready to Go, Count ZERO Kamen Rider Agito!
miteru dake no kimi de ii kai?
Here we go, Count ZERO Kamen Rider Agito!
ima kimi ga inai to... Get on!


Ready to go, count zero! Kamen Rider Agito!
Can you be content to merely stand and watch?
Here we go, count zero! Kamen Rider Agito!
We need you with us, now... Get on!


Ready to go, Count ZERO Kamen Rider Agito!
kimi no mama de kawareba ii
Here we go, Count ZERO Kamen Rider Agito
ima kimi ga inai to... Get on!


Ready to go, count zero! Kamen Rider Agito!
You must become more than what you are
Here we go, count zero! Kamen Rider Agito!
We need you with us, now... Get on!


(Note: For those unfamiliar with the franchise, "Kamen Rider" means "Masked Rider." This is the rare instance where I'll leave a bit of Japanese intact. I figure if "Kamen Rider" is enough of a brandname that even the official American import won't change it, I can leave it in here.)

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