Your Name is shown worldwide now
I think now this movie Your Name is very famous.
It is all about swapping of bodies if tell the story simply.
I wrote the details in Your Name Kimi no Na wa Movie of Makoto Shinkai became a Mega Hit that I omit the details here.
It made more than 24.2 billion yen (about $20 billion) at the box office as of 12 February, 2017.
It is the first anime movie that over 10 billion except for Ghibli’s movie.
Top movie of Spirited Away was 30.4 billion yen (about $27 billion), Howl’s Moving Castle was 19.6 billion yen (about $17.3 billion), Princess Mononoke was 19 billion yen (about $17 billion).
Now Your Name has been shown in about 20 countries such as China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, United Kingdom, etc.
And on 7 April, it is shown in United States and Canada, too.
RADWIMPS is the band that sing the theme song of Your Name.
How RADWIMPS was formed
RADWIMPS was formed by Guitar Akira Kuwahara who had asked Youjirou Noda for becoming vocal of the band in 2001.
And they apply for YOKOHAMA HIGHSCHOOL MUSIC FESTIVAL in 2002 and receive the Grand Prix there.
RADWIMPS become most popular in 2003 when they sold 1st single Moshimo for 100 yen (about $1) in the limited number of 10000.
It sold out immediately.
But the band stop activity for about 6 months because of Vocal Noda had to prepare for the university entrance exam.
In 2004, they start the music again with new member Yuusuke Takeda (Base), Satoshi Yamaguchi (Drums)
These are the members of today’s RADWIMPS.
But only Satoshi Yamaguchi is not active now because his chronic disease neurotic disorder got worse and he had to take a indefinite rest.
It looks like their activity was not always on the roll.
There was a blank period for about 2 years from 2007 to 2008.
Looks like they had a danger of break-up in this period.
I think most of all the bands experience this thing during their activity as tastes differ.
It is said that Youjirou Noda (Vocal) told Akira Kuwahara to quit band and to return to friends like before for life as he wanted to like him as ever.
But the Akira Kuwahara replied him saying it is OK you don’t like me but I want to continue the band.
I think there were talks after talks after that and they started the band again finally in 2009 with a release of 5th Album Altocolony no Teiri.
How could Youjirou Noda make English Song?
I think most famous theme song of Your Name is Zenzenzense.
And other songs Sparkle, Yumetourou, Nandemonaiya is used in Your Name.
These were all Japanese songs as this was Japanese movie.
But they made original English version, too for the showing of the movie in United States and Canada.
It is actually difficult to remake Japanese song into English song.
It is not just a translation of English but the English has to be made to the sound.
There might be delicate adjustment or tuning of original sound, too for English song
I think most difficult part is word itself.
Some Japanese words are very difficult to translate into English.
Direct translation might be able to make people understood the meaning but it can not convey delicate meaning or emotion Japanese word has behind it.
Vocal Youjiro Noda himself made English lyrics to the original melody.
How he could make or sing in English.
Because he grew up in United States from 4 to 10 although he was born in Tokyo.
He was a returnee to Japan.
Music of British band Oasis seemed to influenced him a lot in those days.
But he says he got the ability to use English when he studied hard in his high school period after coming back to Japan.
In the interview, he says he wanted to do music in abroad, too in his twenties.
He also says he just like the sound of English and it is a kind of musical instrument which draws melody that can no be drawn only by Japanese to him.
Meaning of Zenzenzense
The English version of Zenzenzense was cool music as long as I listened to!
It was good they used Zenzenzense directly as Japanese without translation.
The pronunciation of it was just the same as original Japanese and that was good point, too.
It is true that there are voices that say why don’t he translate it into English?
Certainly we might feel a kind of uneasy as the only Zenzenzense is Japanese while other words are all English.
Then why didn’t they translate it into English?
It might have some relation to religion.
Zense means previous life or Karma in Japanese.
And Zen means previous. (Zen also has the meaning of Zen meditation but the Chinese character is different)
So Zenzenzese means previous life of previous life of previous life if I translate it directly although this is a coined word.
In Christianity, there is no teaching of reincarnation such as Zense.
It is a term of Buddhism.
I set aside whether people really believe it or not.
Anyway it doesn’t fit if it had been translated in English.
So that might be one of the reasons he didn’t translate it into English.
Why director Makoto Shinkai asked RADWIMPS for the song?
It is just Makoto Shinkai himself was a fan of RADWIMPS.
When Makoto Shinkai was asked by producer Genki Kawamura for his favorite music, he said RADWIMPS without any deep thought such as if the music goes well with movie.
It is said that Genki Kawamura sent a LINE message to Youjirou Noda on the spot saying I know him.
He seems like he likes their music because of the similarity of the direction they aim even though they are on the different fields and he feels the strong resolution of them from the music.
Your Name has a factor of time difference and he says he thought that a part is necessary in which music of time axis dominates the scene.
He seemed like thought that after listening to Zenzenzense and Sparkle.
To think of it, Your Name might have been made taking the music always into account at the same time.
After first showing of the script to Youjirou Noda in 2014, there seems to have been many contacts for the music between them.
Both of them are not the people who compromise things that they must have told honest opinions each other even though it is hard thing to tell sometimes.
But the strict attitude towards the work made this mega hit movie in the end.
Actually I didn’t know RADWIMPS well until I watched Your Name last year.
I knew only by the name but I didn’t know how popular they are among young people now.
And when I first listened to their music what I thought was “is this Bump of Chicken?”.
Bump of Chicken is also very popular band in Japan and the voice or the touch of music sounded like similar to me.
If you want to know about Bump of Chicken I also wrote details of them here Bump of Chicken and collaboration with Miku Hatsune.
But I found that it was not only me but many others were thought like me after checking others’ impressions.
If I very roughly say, 2000s might be the generation of Bump of Chicken and now might be the generation of RADWIMPS.
But I can say both are also different music and band although I can not explain it well still I also felt some kind of differences among them.
Anyway I’m happy to be able to listen to the English version of their songs.
I especially like Spackle and its lyrics.
It says like this.
“We fall in love in a place where no one can reach and make it true.
No matter how hard the words of a fate and future reach their hand, it is a same.”
I thought this is beautiful lyrics.
Most of the music before was mostly only within Japan but now many Japanese musicians come to perform in abroad such as BABY METAL, ONE OK ROCK, MAN WITH A MISSION,etc.
I also wish RADWIMPS to perform in abroad with the release of these English songs.