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Kurenai (song)

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Kurenai (くれなる) is the theme song of Fatal Frame II: Deep Crimson Butterfly for the Nintendo Wii. It replaces Chou (蝶) as the song played during the ending credits. The song is performed by Tsukiko Amano, released in her latest full album, Sora no Ki (天の樹).




食み出すもの刈る取る鋏を携え わたしを捕らえる

狂いはじめてた ぬくもりの香り

揺さぶられた わたしを笑い

'君は消えてゆく 闇夜の隙間に 'わたしの身代わりに

朱く 朱く 永遠に刻み付いた



わたしを待つの ちぎれた翼で 大空を舞って

どれだけ目が醒めたら 明日の麓へ君を連れ出せる

どれだけ罰を拭う 愛を奏でたら わたしは戻れる

追いつきたかった 掴まえたかった 君とふたり 歩きたかった

君は逃げてゆく 閉ざした扉をいくつもすり抜けて

燻るほど 染まりゆく朱い罪を 優しい傷を



君の翼に わたしの両手を 繋ぎ合わせて

わたしは生きてく 翼をもがれた 飛べない蝶のまま

朱く 朱く 永遠に刻み付いた


燻るほど 染まりゆく朱い罪を 優しい傷を



わたしを待つの ちぎれた翼で 大空を舞って


As if each proclaiming justice, people have flocked together,

wielding scissors like culling the excessive, and captured me.

The once warm fragrance turned to madness, laughing at the intimidated me.

You are disapperaing into the gaps of the dark night, substituting me.

Engraved into a crimson, crimson eternity,

the remains that binds you and I as one,

even now, while also drifting in the eternity waiting for me, with broken wings,

dancing in the big sky.

How long must I remain awake, to take you to the foothills of the morning sun?

How much punishment must I wipe away, how much love to emote, for me to return?

I wanted to follow, I wanted to catch up, I wanted to walk together with you.

Yet you ran away, slipping through the myriads of closed doors.

The steeping crimson sin, as if smoldering, the gentle wound,

I want to go embrace them.

Even now, while also drifting in eternity, tether your wings together with my two hands.

I will live on, like a flightless butterfly with its wings torn off.

Engraved into a crimson, crimson eternity,

the remains that binds you and I as one.

The steeping crimson sin, as if smoldering, the gengle wound,

I want to go embrace them.

Even now, while also drifting in the eternity waiting for me,

with broken wings, dancing in the sky.

Interview with Tsukiko AmanoEdit

In an interview from Shinku no Chou's official guidebook, it was stated the following:

What Tsukiko Amano Put Into "Kurenai"Edit

The reason the title is "Kurenai" and not "Shinku"
-First of all, please tell us why you chose the title of "Kurenai".

Amano: When "Chou" was created the game's title was "Akai Chou" (紅い蝶 / Crimson Butterfly), so I took the "Chou" (蝶 / butterfly) character from that. At the time when I received the offer to do a song for this game, the subtitle was still "Akai Chou", so I thought about taking the "Crimson" character (紅) from that, but since I don't particularly personally like that kanji character, and because there is already a famous song by the same name, I wrote it using hiragana. I haven't used hiragana for the titles of many of my songs, and I thought that using the old "wi" (ゐ) character would, rather than make it sound old-fashioned, have a nice feeling to it.

-With regards to being offered the chance to do a new image song, given the existence of "Chou", did you feel as though there was any pressure or burden from it?

Amano: I don't think it was a burden, but since I honestly hadn't even imagined that I would be making another song for the same work, I really was shocked. I would be lying if I said that there was no pressure, since to me, "Chou" was the completed image song for this game, but aside from that, my strongest thought was, "Hmm, should I really write any more than this?" I was troubled by this for quite some time, but then Mr. Shibata, the director, gave me the hint, "Perhaps it should be a sister song?" and I finally had a breakthrough.

In "Chou", not once did I sing "crimson", and in the song the protagonist flies away, so I ended up at the answer, "Well then, this time I should sing it from the perspective of the one who couldn't fly."

"Kurenai" is from the perspective of Mio, who couldn't fly
-What kind of finishing touches did you give to the song to make it match the image of Mio and Mayu as sisters?

Amano: If I had to choose, I would say that "Kurenai" is in Mio's image. "Chou" was written so that it could be interpreted as being either of them, but the "finding a me who can fly well" line in the lyrics is, if I had to say, from Mayu's point of view. In both songs, the meaning of actually "flying" and "flying" into a new way of life can be switched around, so you can interpret them both, but nevertheless, I strongly thought that "Chou" was from the point of view of the one flying, so decided to have "Kurenai" be from the view of the one who couldn't fly.

-Were you conscious of your choice of words as you did so?

Amano: I did take note of it. Especially with regards to "Chou", which was the song I contributed to the first game in the Zero series I worked on, and since not all of my fanbase likes playing games, I definitely wanted to make it a song you didn't have to have played the game to enjoy. People who haven't played the game have their "Chou", and people who have played it have their "Chou" - that was the kind of song I wanted to make.

With "Kurenai", the want for people who hadn't played the game to be able to enjoy it too wasn't on my mind as much, and I really was a little conscious of wanting it to say things to people who had played it.

-When you were creating "Kurenai", what was your favourite, or most concentrated-upon, phrase?

If I don't like lyrics I rewrite them, so I guess the whole thing is my favourite (laughs). But really, since it's a song, there are times when I write lyrics without really thinking. The basic part is thinking about whether or not the sound fits, whatever is most suitable. That said, I really searched deep until I found a compatible tune and words that resounded; I was aiming for something that would leave an impression the second you saw the words.

Maybe it's not quite something I necessarily focused on, but I remember struggling with the "watashi no migawari ni" ("as my substitute") part of the B melody, and right until the end I wasn't sure whether to use that or "okizari ni" ("abandoning me"). I kept writing "okizari ni", erasing it and writing in "migawari ni", over and over. In the game, the definition of twin sisters is repeatedly reversed and changed. This image remained with me strongly, so I thought that writing "migawari ni" would really convey something to people who had played the game. However, what I wanted to say was about disappearing for your own sake, and "migawari ni" felt a little forced (laughs).

-Was there anything like, for example, a keyword you used when you were writing the lyrics?

Amano: Not a single one. When I was writing down the lyrics, the words just kept flowing. If, perhaps, they didn't match the tune I wouldn't have been able to use them. In the worst case they would have to be shelved completely, so I didn't note down any words. If I just need the words I might write something down, but I can't write lyrics without the music.

-Were there any lyrics you had to drop because they got too close to the game's core?

Amano: So far I've not dropped anything and not reworked it, but back when I was writing "Chou" there was a line that went, "moetsuki moetsuki hagarenai tenohira no ato" ("burning, burning, your irremovable handprint") which I felt was quite close to the game's heart. I wrote this part including the image of "even now I remember the warmth of your hand as I held it". Two hands joined together are in the shape of a butterfly, right? That image of joined hands was the first thing I came up with; I wanted to say, "your hand isn't there anymore, but my hand will remember your warmth always." But I was told that it was a spoiler, so in the end the part of the song containing this phrase wasn't used in the promotional video, and I felt as though, "This isn't what it's like, this isn't what it's like..." (tears).

Challenging the foreign staff to translate "Kurenai" into English
-Unexpectedly, the development team had also noticed the same "hand" keyword. You said you participated in the English translation of "Kurenai" yourself, didn't you?

Amano: Yes. I'd actually done a translation for "Tsukihami no Kamen" as well. Back then I translated it with the assumption that I was going to be singing the words, but I wasn't going to be singing them for this game, so I really enjoyed the extreme increase in freedom I had. I'd started translating this game's song myself, unaware that Nintendo of Europe's staff had already begun translating it. However, when they sent me the lyrics they had done during the process, I saw what a detailed, liberal translation they had done, and was surprised by how accurate their interpretation of the Japanese was. But there were also parts in the English where vague and ambiguous things were impossible to carry across, and I found it really difficult to know how to represent that while staying close to my lyrics.

For example, the "hamidasu mono karitoru hasami wo tazusae" part. This has the meaning of "people who stand out and are criticised and punished." The kind of nuance I wanted in the English translation was "why are they knocked down?" which I had trouble with. I thought that the "karitori mono" part should be "lay us down" or "cut us down", and went back and forth about it many times with Nintendo of Europe's staff. "Lay us down" has a the image of a crushing/suppressing feeling, and after taking the advice that it had more an image of "exclusive and limited" and "pushed aside" I thought "cut us down" might be closer and went with that.

-It's difficult getting not only the representation right but also taking into account the cultural differences. Did you think the completed translation was just about perfect?

Amano: No, there are parts where I think if I were more proficient in English I would have used different phrasing. Things like the hook that are long, I wanted to be able to shorten better, but I couldn't explain

them properly in Japanese, and I couldn't work out how to tell Nintendo of Europe's staff to please make it rhythmical, which is perhaps a regret of mine. -Conversely, was there anything you felt the translation staff did that matched your intentions perfectly?

Amano: The part that goes "kimi wa nigete yuku tozashita tobira wo ikutsu mo surinukete" was translated as "I see the doors closing behind you, I rush to make it there in time", which is precisely what I was going for. So much so that I automatically replied in comment, "That's so moving!" (laughs). It represented the "even though I tell you not to go when it seems as though we will be separated, I can never keep up with you" image that I was going for really well. Maybe that's how Mayu feels in the actual game, too. I used that as a hint, but the translation team really understood that and how well they understood impacted me deeply. I was so happy that everything I wanted to say had been conveyed, even the metaphors.

"Crimson" rather than "Vermillion"!
-How many revisions were there before the English translation was actually completed?

Amano: I think we spoke maybe twice while we were making revisions. It was surprisingly simple, and only took about four days until it was done.

-Huh? The entire translation was finished in four days?

Amano: Yes. I had a live show coming up as well, so we had to go at full speed. They seemed to have already translated the lines in the game, but it looked like they were having trouble deciding what to do with the translation of the lyrics. Even still, Nintendo of Europe's staff just wanted to use a literal translation, but if it was a literal translation the meaning wouldn't have been conveyed properly. That's when they asked me to help out with a more liberal translation, and I began discussing things with them and helping out.

-Please tell us about the English title, "Crimson".

Amano: Nintendo of Europe's staff were really focused on the part about "what makes "Kurenai" crimson?" (laughs). They said to me, "What about Crimson Wing?" and I said, "I didn't write "wing" in the lyrics, so please use "Crimson"." I guess the translation staff probably thought people wouldn't understand just from "crimson", so they wanted to add a noun. They also advised me that based on "Crimson", perhaps we should use "Vermillion" to match up with the character used for "crimson" in the lyrics, but I had decided on representing it in English as "Crimson" and wasn't going to change my mind. The only reason was because, in terms of English, I prefer "Crimson" to "Vermillion".

-Could you please tell us what part of the English lyrics left the deepest impression on you?

Amano: I remember spending a really long time revising the part in the second half that goes, "watashi wa ikiteiku tsubara wo mogareta tobenai chou no mama". Literally translated it means, "I will try to go on, a flightless butterfly, my wings torn from me," or something like that, but the part here that says "a flightless butterfly" doesn't really mean a butterfly that is unable to fly, but rather "with only one wing". Furthermore, I wanted to also keep in the resolution to keep trying to fly anyway, and so added "I will live", and it ended up becoming "I will live as a single-winged butterfly".

-Which of the endings in Shinku no Chou is your favourite?

Amano: I couldn't really sympathise with Mayu, so I was relatively fond of the Mayoiga ending in which you leave her behind and go alone. It was Mayu who went into Minakami Village, as well, wandering off as she felt like it, and seemed to kind of lead Mio into traps, didn't she (laughs). I think that if perhaps I were suddenly thrown into a world in which common sense didn't apply, I would be more irrational. I suppose that kind of feeling, Mio's feelings, are included in "Kurenai"'s lyrics.

-Thinking about it, it does seem as though the lyrics were made to follow along with the details of the game.

Amano: Right - I guess it has that feel as though it combines the irrationality of this game with the irrationality of daily life. The "Zero" games put you really close to "death", so each time, when I'm creating the image song, perhaps because I have it follow along with the feelings of the protagonist, it seems to take you to a faraway place that makes you mentally feel death. However, I think that songs have power, so I would absolutely never want to write a song that would make people feel like they wanted to die. I've done the same with all of the image songs so far, writing "Kurenai" so that the part about being saved would remain in the listener's heart.

"Zero" is sometimes stressful!?
-This game will be the fourth you have provided an image song for - it seems as though amongst the fans the image is increasingly popular that "Zero = Ms. Amano". What do you think about this?

Amano: Sometimes I have honestly thought, "This is troublesome." I'm not someone who's particularly fond of the horror genre, and I don't really do just Japanese-style music either. "Chou" came out around the time when I was wanting to try out a more Japanese feel, but foreigners enjoyed it with its sort of bland sense to it that made them think, "Is this how Japanese-style things feel?" However, people who became interested in me due to Akai Chou naturally had no idea about this, and were looking for a Japanese image as standard. Consequently, I was quite stressed over my style around that time.

But even still, when I got the offer to do "Kurenai" for this game, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to be involved with this series again. I felt so strongly towards fans who had come to like me through playing these games. From the start I've been involved in the crafting aspect of things, so I can oversee my own works. The pride I take in my work really lit a fire under me when I received the "Kurenai" offer, and I couldn't really find the words, couldn't think of an image tune, which made me feel stressed, but even then I went about creating it thinking, "Ah, what fun work."

-I believe there were many fans who, when the announcement about Shinku no Chou was made, thought, "I wonder if Ms. Amano will sing for this game too?"

Amano: Thank you. I have a mobile site aimed at my fans, but when the news about Shinku no Chou began to spread I really did receive a huge amount of mail. By that time I had already been asked to do the song, but I couldn't just go around announcing it. So, I went through all of these comments saying, "Has she made any comment on this at all? Everyone go look!" and I had to ignore them, and I'm sorry for that (laughs).

-Then finally, please leave a message for the readers.

Amano: I wrote "Kurenai" having heard the details of the endings, but when I saw them I wondered what kind of song should play during them to help them, and it would make me happy if people understood it. I hope people like "Kurenai" as much as "Chou".

-Thank you for your time.


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