“Love Song” (アイノウタ; ai no uta) is a song sung by voice actress and singer Misuzu Togashi (富樫 美鈴; togashi misuzu). It is the second track to one of Togashi’s singles, “Fly Away!”, released on February 11st, 2011. Lyrics were written by Kyasu Morizuka and Makoto Miyazaki, while Makoto Miyazaki is also the music composer and arranger.
The titular track of the single was used as the first opening theme of the anime series, Maken-ki! (マケン姫っ！). Togashi also participated in the series as the voice of one of its supporting characters, Azuki Shinatsu.
The anime series, and other related materials, for Maken-ki! contains contents of perverted fan service. If you desire to look into the contents of the series, be careful at your own discretion.
“Love Song” by Misuzu Togashi softly sings of struggle and the love that looks past that pain. The nights may be as black as the unlit night sky and the world may be too big of a maze to venture through alone, yet this song sings to everyone to stand up and try reaching the other end of the world. Even if they still become blind, the singer offers her hand so that they can complete the journey. Cry out till the last breath. No need to be afraid. Listen to this love song comfort you…
Kokoro ni namida de tamatta yoru wa
On the nights when my soul is filled with tears
Fukai yume ni ukabimashou
I let myself float off into a deep dream
Tsumetaku kogoeru yubisaki kara
From my cold and stiff fingertips
itai kioku koboreochita
My pained memories spill out
Watashi itsudatte hitori no tsumori de ita
I had intended for myself to stay alone forever
Te ni fureru mono hisshi ni kyozetsu shite sa
Because I had desperately rejected everything that I could touch
Kuroi uchuu no hate made aruite misete yo
Show me that you can walk until the end of this dark world*
Hikari ga mienai nara kiite hoshii
If you cannot see the light, then listen to me
アイノウタ高らかに この声が奏でるまで 歌うよ
Ai no uta takarakani kono koe ga kanaderu made utau yo
Until my voice can sing this song of love out loud, I’ll sing
「ここにいる good night well done」
“Koko ni iru good night well done”
“I am here, good night, well done”
Karada ga fuwa fuwa fuan na yoru wa
On nights when my body felt fluffy yet unsure
Fukai meiro hitori deshou
I must have been alone in an endless maze
Acchi kocchi sasayaku kaze no koe ni
To the whispering voice of the wind from here and there
Mayoi yureru kuzure ochiru
I become lost, waver and fall over
Watashi itsudatte mienai furi wo shiteta
I had kept acting like I couldn’t see anything
Hiza wo kakaete mabuta wo tojita mama ni
As I held my knees and closed my eyes shut
Shiroi sekai no hate kara miagete goran yo
Look up into the sky from this white world*
Me ga kuran dato shitemo furete ageru
Even if your vision goes black, I’ll hold onto you*
噛みついてもいいから その身を任せて 大丈夫
Kami tsuite mo ii kara sono mi wo makasete daijoubu
It’s fine if you bite me*, so let me help you, you are alright
Sakende yo tsuyoku
Cry out as much as you can
Tokei no hari no oto
The sound of the ticking clock
mujou nimo sekasu kedo
Makes us rush on heartlessly
bokura no tsumeato no sukima
The crevice of the scars we inflicted on ourselves
They were always shining brightly
No need to be afraid
Kuroi uchuu no hate made aruite misete yo
Show me that you can walk until the end of this dark world
Kimi wo terasu hikari de tsutsunde ageru
I’ll put together a light that’ll shine upon you*
Ai no uta hibikasete niji iro no ashioto wo tsunagete
Letting the love song ring out, connecting these rainbow-colored footsteps
君に good night well done
Kimi ni good night well done
To you, good night, well done
- The song is arranged to follow the perspective of two people: the sender of the love song and the receiver. The receiver’s side is sung during the verse and pre-chorus, singing of the weakness they harbor. The sender’s side is the chorus itself, pushing the receiver to stand while telling them that they will come to their aide to comfort them.
- More of a lesson than a note, in Japanese, there are times when Japanese lyrics will contain the characters of one word depicted with a different reading or meaning. Here, “uchuu” (宇宙) is usually translated as “space” (as in outer space), but it can also mean “world” (referring space as an “empty world”).
- “White world” in this content can refer to a world null of color. The singer tells the receiver to raise their heads instead of looking dankly into the emptiness.
- For those who hadn’t noticed, the lyrics here specifically has the sender comforting the receiving not just with words, but also mentions that they’ll remain at their side. They won’t stray from the receiver, letting them know that they are still there by holding onto them.
- “To bite someone” is a metaphor to animals who are scared, thus biting in self-defense. Knowing this, the sender is alright if the receiver is frightened. Even if the receiver harms them in defense, the sender will keep on helping the receiver as much as they can.
- This line can have two different translations with similar meanings: one is the one above “I’ll put together a light that’ll shine upon you”, while the other is “I’ll embrace you with a bright light”. The former is chosen as “tsutsumu” (包む) usually refers to “packing something together”, while it can also mean “to wrap something”. With how the subject of Japanese can be vague deliberately, the translation defines that the sender is putting together the light, not the sender being wrapped in the light.
Other songs by Misuzu Togashi
There are many songs in the Japanese music industry titled “ai no uta” (love song) or a similar name, yet each and every one of them seems to have their own special ring. In the case of Togashi’s version, I had found it as the side-B of Maken-ki OP single. Side-B’s tend to have a different vibe than the side, where in this case “ai no uta” is a soft love song to the energized “Fly Away”.
The take away for this song is the tune and its message. The music starts off with a two guitars playing, one on each side of the headphone, as Togashi slowly starts to sing. As she eventually reaches the chorus, drums enter and the whole band is in. It feels like she’s singing as a high school of some kind. But the message itself is fantastic. While the message is typical, where sender comforts receiver, the magic of the song is the way its performed. Using the verses as the receiver’s point-of-view and the chorus as the sender’s, it gives a different kind of power to the song, something not often done in music. To me, it gave this tender feeling that this love song is a genuine love song. The sender does not ask for love, but for trust in the support she’s offering the receiver.