Sugar Song and Bitter Step – UNISON SQUARE GARDEN lyrics

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“Sugar Song and Bitter Step” (シュガーソングとビターステップ; shugaa songu to bitaa suteppu) is a song by the Japanese pop band UNISON SQUARE GARDEN (ユニゾン・スクエア・ガーデン; unizon sukuea gaaden). With Tomoya Tabuchi (田淵智也; tabuchi tomoya) as the composer and lyricist, the song was released on May 20th, 2015 as the title track of the band’s 10th single. It used as the ending theme to the 2015 supernatural action anime “Blood Blockade Battlefront” (血界戦線; kekkai sensen).

A short version of the song’s music video has been released on YouTube here on May 15th. The music video was officially released on the band’s 10th anniversary album, “DUGOUT ACCIDENT” which was release on August 22nd of the same year.

Synopsis

As the narrator walks the streets in “Sugar Song and Bitter step” by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN, he finds how terribly bland the world is right under his nose. This leads him to question his values and thoughts, wondering if he is free or not. This pushes the narrator to create an individual beat, which becomes a song of their own. A song that will live on even if the infrastructure of the constructed world collapses. In this personal revolt, the narrator wants to surprise the world that is filled with sugarcoated songs and dredging steps.

Lyrics

超天変地異みたいな狂騒にも慣れて こんな日常を平和と見間違う
choutenpenchii mitaina kyousou nimo narete konna nichijou wo heiwa to mimachigau
Having gotten used to the daily supernatural catastrophe events, I mistake it for being peaceful
rambling coaster揺さぶられながら 見失えないものは何だ?
rambling coaster yusaburare nagara miushinaenai mono wa nanda?
As the rambling coaster shakes, what will I lose sight of?

平等性原理主義の概念に飲まれて 心までがまるでエトセトラ
byoudoushou genri no gainen ni nomarete kokoro made ga marude ETOSETORA
Consumed with the concept of equality fundamentalism, my heart feels like a pointless “et cetra”*
大嫌い 大好き ちゃんと喋らなきゃ 人形とさして変わらないし
daikirai daisuki chanto shaberanakya nigyou to sashite kawaranai shi
If I don’t speak my likes and dislikes, I’m no different than a puppet

宵街を行く人だかりは 嬉しそうだったり 寂しそうだったり
yoimachi wo iku hito dakari wa ureshisou dattari sabishisou dattari
Everyone who goes into the evening town either seem happy or sad
コントラストが五線譜を飛び回り 歌とリズムになる
KONTORASUTO ga gosenfu wo tobimawari uta to RIZUMU ni naru
That contrast flies about the five-note score, becoming a song and rhythm

ママレード&シュガーソング、ピーナッツ&ビターステップ
MAMAREEDO&SHUGAA SONGU, PIINATTSU&BITAA SUTEPPU
Marmalade and Sugar Song, Peanuts and Bitter Step
甘くて苦くて目が回りそうです
amakute nigakute me ga mawarisou desu
I feel dizzy from the mix of sweetness and bitterness
南南西を目指してパーティを続けよう 世界中を驚かせてしまう夜になる
nan’nansei wo mezashite PAATI wo tsudzukeyou sekaijuu wo odokaseteshimau yoru ni naru
Heading towards the south-southwest, let’s continue the party, this’ll be the night we surprise the entire world
I feel 上々 連鎖になってリフレクト
I feel joujou rensa ni natte RIFUREKUTO
I feel pumped, reflecting everything into chains

蓋然性合理主義の正論に揉まれて 僕らの音楽は道具に成り下がる?
gaizensei gouri shugi no seiron ni umarete bokura no ongaku wa dougu ni narisagaru?
Enveloped in the sound argument of probability rationalism, our music is devalued into tools?
こっちを向いてよ 背を向けないでよ それは正論にならないけど
kocchi wo muite yo se wo mukenaide yo sore wa seiron ni naranai kedo
Please look this way, don’t face away, although there is no good reason why I ask these

祭囃子のその後で 昂ったままの人 泣き出してしまう人
matsurihayashi no sono ato de takabutta mama no hito nakidashiteshimau hito
When the festive music ends, there are those who remain upbeat and others who begin to cry
多分同じだろう でも言葉にしようものなら稚拙が極まれり
tabun onnaji darou demo kotoba ni shiyou mono nara chisetsu ga kiwamareri
I’m sure they are one and the same, but I’m too unskilled to find the word for it

最高だってシュガーソング 幸せってビターステップ
saikou datte SHUGAA SONGU shiawase tte BITAA SUTEPPU
The best is a sugar song, and happiness is a bitter step
死ねない理由をそこに映し出せ
shinenai riyuu wo soko ni utsushidase
Show to me the reason why I cannot die just yet
惜しがったって等速で明日は来ちゃうけど
oshikatta tte tousoku de ashita wa kichau kedo
Even if I regret it, tomorrow will still arrive at the same pace
脳内天気予報のアップデートを果たしたなら
nounai tenkiyohou no APPUDEETO wo hatashita nara
If my brain has updated it’s weather forecast

someday 狂騒が息を潜めても
someday kyousou ga iki wo somete mo
Someday, even when the supernatural days lose breath
someday 正論に意味がなくなっても
someday seiron ni imi ga nakunatte mo
Someday, even when the sound arguments lose reason
feeling song & step 鳴らし続けることだけが
feeling song & step narashitsudzukeru koto dake ga
Feeling the song and steps continue to ring away
僕たちを僕たちたらしめる証明になる、QED!
bokutachi wo bokutachi tarashimeru shoumei ni naru, QED!
is a confirmation that we are ourselves, Q.E.D.*

ママレード&シュガーソング、ピーナッツ&ビターステップ
MAMAREEDO&SHUGAA SONGU, PIINATTSU&BITAA SUTEPPU
Marmalade and Sugar Song, Peanuts and Bitter Step
生きてく理由をそこに映し出せ
ikiteku riyuu wo soko ni utsushidase
Show to me the reason why I should live on
北北東は後方へ その距離が誇らしい
hokuhokutou wa kouhou he sono kyori ga hokorashii
Heading away from the north-northeast, the distance from there makes me proud

世界中を、驚かせ続けよう。
sekaijuu wo, odokasetsudzukeyou.
Let’s continue to surprise the entire world

ママレード&シュガーソング、ピーナッツ&ビターステップ
MAMAREEDO&SHUGAASONGU, PIINATTSU&BITAASUTEPPU
Marmalade and Sugar Song, Peanuts and Bitter Step
甘くて苦くて目が回りそうです
amakute nigakute me ga mawarisou desu
I feel dizzy from the mix of sweetness and bitterness
南南西を目指してパーティを続けよう 世界中を驚かせてしまう夜になる
nan’nansei wo mezashite PAATI wo tsudzukeyou sekaijuu wo odokaseteshimau yoru ni naru
Heading towards the south-southwest, let’s continue the party, this’ll be the night we surprise the entire world
I feel 上々 連鎖になってリフレクション
I feel joujou rensa ni natte RIFUREKUSHON
I feel pumped, with a reflection becoming chains
goes on 一興去って一難去ってまた一興
goes on ikkyou satte ichinan satte mata ikkyou
It goes on, first one joy, then some difficulties, then again some joy

Translation Notes

  • “Et cetera” is often used when a list is long and requires the need to be cut short. It can also indicate the insignificance of certain items on the list that do not need to be named with the others. Here, fundamentalism (strict religion) belittles the purpose of a heart, which the narrator witnesses.
  • Q.E.D. stands for “quod erat demonstrandum,” a Latin phrase which means “which is what had to be proven”. It’s commonly used at the end of a mathematical or philosophical proof, signifying the idea of self-demonstration and “thus, the result”.

Glossary

Other songs by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN or from Kekkai Sensen

  • TBA

Author’s Notes

When someone mentions “Kekkai Sensen,” admittedly the first thing that comes to mind is its attention-catching ending. You have all the characters from the series happily dancing on top of a curtained stage, either doing so as a group or on their own. It’s the type of fun scene that you would feel like join with the thought “I want to do the same can-can gig with them.” A good handful of Japanese endings are wacky and place a contrast to the actual series (the livelihood here in contrast to the series action-packed fighting) and this ending seems to take the cake for its simple stage-dance.

I have a fondness for songs with a deeper meaning to them. Not that no one else doesn’t like them, but I don’t mind digging into the lyrics and understand what I’m listening to. Just by doing that, many of the songs I’ve listened to have been more empowering than when I simply listened to their tunes. It creates this deeper connection with those songs, and even if I don’t 100% identify with what is being told, it allows me know a little more about the world.

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