Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang (Who loves not woman, wine, and song remains a fool his whole life long). – Martin Luther
What anison (anime-song) made a huge impact in my life?
When I was a lone school boy, there was an anime called Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was really unconventional. I couldn’t grasp what the hell was going on, the story itself was too complicated and too intellectual and so intense that I got dizzy. Because of its roughness, the ending credit with a rather serene music was an awe. The contrast impressed me deeply. A upside down silhouette of Ayanami Rei walking on the reflection of the moonlight at sea was just beautiful. That was the first time I ever saw a person walking on the water besides Jesus. Yes, Ayanami was definitely miraculous. I never heard this kind of music before. By the time I knew, I was asking around (no wikipedia at that time, didn’t even have access to Internet, so the only way to look up info was talk to people, which was extremely difficult for a sociophobe like me) and figured it was a jazz standard called Fly Me To The Moon.
But, it didn’t sound like jazz either. So, I wanted to know its genre. Then, I asked people in my class who were watching Evangelion. And they said, “It’s Bossa Nova.” That was the first time I ever heard about Bossa Nova. It didn’t sound like an English word either. They said it was a Brazilian music and the word Bossa Nova was a Brazilian word. So, I wanted to explore more about Bossa, then I went to a CD store nearby my house (no YouTube at that time, very stone age), and asked the store guy what was a good start for Bossa. And, he showed me a CD of Tom Jobim’s songs, so I bought it. And I popped the CD in, and the first song I heard was Chega De Saudade. Ahh, it was a breeze that I never felt before.
That was the first time I ever heard the word “Saudade.” Yes, saudade is the fundamental concept of Bossa. Without saudade, there’s no Bossa. Bossa can’t exist without saudade. Yes, saudade is roughly translated “melancholy.” Yes, Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. In Brazilian, it’s translated “Saudade De Suzumiya Haruyi.” Yes, what I felt from the ending theme of Eva was saudade. Fly Me To The Moon was arranged in Bossa. Sweet finger picking of rhytmical guitar and evanescent piano. And a beautiful female vocal. How divine… The most divine music I ever heard in my life. It was just angelic…
Ah, how saudade my life has been… I wish my saudade was influential like Haruhi, so everyone would kiss my ass, lest the world would end. But I don’t have any influence over the world, nothing happens to the world even if I don’t exist, and I’m the one always end up kissing ass in 3-D, i.e., capitalism society. Labor is not for me since I’m tired of being a Yes-man just to make ends meet. Enough of that. I rather have my ass kissed, but never had any influence over anybody. My words don’t mean anything to anybody. Japan was “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down” society, so I was taught to answer only “Yes” to the authority, in other words, taught to kiss ass, that’s what salarymans do. They are full of Yes-mans to the corporations. That’s why I never wanted to be a grownup in Japan. Yes, the authority is VIP, who has the biggest influence over you. They get the most Yeses. In turn, the most unimportant schmuck, so-called “worthless piece of shit,” always gets Nos. Yes, VUP (very unimportant person)…
Ahh, how many girls have said “No” to me…the moment they said “I’m sorry,” I immediately knew I was the most powerless idiot on earth. The fact that the most important people in your life turned you down… The truth was too unbearable. I couldn’t face myself in the mirror, a reflection of 3-D. So, I went inward. The outside was too stifling. And eventually I left the country for good. Tokyo Gov. Ishiwara Shintaro wrote a book The Japan that can say No. But to me, it was Japan that I had to say “No” to. I had to prove that I existed. It was a Celie moment from The Color Purple, “I’m here!” It was during this saudade period that Bossa came into my life. It was surely a lifebuoy I desperately wanted to cling to.
So, that’s how I got into Bossa. Before Bossa, only girls would give me ecstatic sensations. But Bossa also gives me the same divinity that girls give. Never in my life happened to me like that.
I still remember all the girls I fell in love back in my school years, and I feel saudade whenever I think about them, and my mood will be very bossa. It’s this nostalgia, that you can never go back to school and experience school romance, especially 17 years old, that I have lost forever. A dream is a wish for the future, but a regret is a wish for the past. Yes, Paradise Lost. Yes, something unreachable, unattainable. I wish the world was like a video game, so I could just press the reset button and start from the beginning, Game Over wouldn’t be an issue, yet, 3-D doesn’t go that way. How melancholic…saudade… That’s why 2-D is my salvation, especially school romance anime, romantic comedy…if there’s a school romance anime with Bossa soundtracks like School Rumble, Eri Sawachika’s Feel My Feeling, I’ll be smitten for sure!
Ahh, girls and music, the most beautiful things on earth, which is more beautiful?
10 thoughts on “Diary of an Anison Lived Part 1”
Beautiful entry – thanks for sharing! There’s definitely something about music which touches our souls…certainly a moving song can give us the same highs as being around someone we’re infatuated with, while they also have the power to help us through difficult times.
On a slightly unrelated note, I have a question about Fly Me to the Moon. Maybe you might know the answer. I grew up knowing the Frank Sinatra version, which is basically just the chorus (the same you hear in the Evangelion ED). But I later acquired Utada’s version, which includes very pretty additional lyrics (“Poets often use many words…”). I guess that Nat King Cole’s version included these lyrics (unless I’m way off) – do you know if these words were originally part of the song?
Thank you for reading my article. Yes! It definitely touches our souls! Yeah, without bossa, without anime, I would’ve ended up in a mental asylum like Camille Claudel.
Yes, it was originally written like that. Many jazz songs have intro that can be omitted at discretion of artists. Yeah, Nat King Cole’s version is awesome! Very beautiful. I love Utada’s version too, very J-R&B. Yet, her style isn’t bossa. If Utada’s version was used in the original Eva, I wouldn’t have become a bossanovista.
Nice Read As always, keep the good work mate, and yes music inspired us and sometimes makes us feel the way we want and need from the real world, i find inspiration from rock (heavy metal included, pop rock ballads and jazz, it is hard to think that right now in the anime enterteinment, the animes need good openings and songs this asspect also evolve alongside the types and stories told on those anime, if you can remember the music from the early animes were catchy and very joyful, right now the evoque emotions like the anime as well, right now we expect great animes to have great music and really well done openings and endings.
By the way for what i read the best music for you is evangelion, which i did like a lot but i think for me the best is the one in berserk both the opening and specially the ending, really translates the strong emotions of the anime, oh and the most unique i have to go with the needless opening such a gem indeed.
Thank you very much for encouragement. So, you have quite a lot of diverse music tastes. That’s good, diversity is what today’s all about. Yes, anisons are becoming much higher quality these days. I think now anime op and ed are a kind of a way to get recognized for the artists, a gate way to success, so to speak.
Oh, I see, yeah, Berserk, good anime! Yes, Needless OP is very cool! Very upbeat electric guitar with distortion sound, very heavy metal, rock music. I like the song of Needless ED, thought of using a snapshot as my ass-kissing reference in this article, yet, the 3-D world may find this prurient with the Miller test, so I’ve backed off.
Ahhh Fly Me to the Moon. ^_^ The Eva version was my first time encountering it… then the Sinatra and then Hikki’s version. I like the opening Cruel Angel Thesis a bit more though.
Hmmm.. I can never choose which song impacted me, since music is such a fluid field for me. I explored the anime songs in posts on my own blog I grew up with when I was growing up.. but that was a couple of years ago.
Yeah, I was like, “what is Cruel Angel Thesis?” Zankoku na Tenshi no Teeze. An English title doesn’t ring in me, since I know it in Japanese. That’s a good song, people associate with Eva very well, a zeitgeist song, yet to me, it’s the bossa song that resonates me.
If it wasn’t a bossa version, played in a standard jazz, the original version of Fly Me To The Moon, I wouldn’t have become a bossanovista.
I happen to like how strong Yoko Takahashi’s voice is singing the song. I must confess as I read through your entry a couple of time.. the aspect of melancholy went over my head. I either though of that Boss drama or Tommy Lee Jones commercial for Boss Coffee. Then I realize the word melancholy, and at this point I am thinking about 三十路岬…
Yeah, Yoko Takahashi is really cool, and I also happen to like Kotoko’s version of Cruel Angel Thesis. You know what? We were watching Tommy Lee Jones’ Boss CM the other night! How coincidental… I don’t believe in zodiac or fortune cookies or feng-shui or all these nonsense, but that’s very mysterious indeed. Haha, yeah, all I write is about how melancholic (saudade) 3-D is, thus 2-D is our salvation. Sorry that it messed up your brain. LOL, that’s very Enka! You got a great music taste! Melancholy of Unlucky Star!
I really enjoy your stream-of-conscious writing style. There a lot of logical leaps made, but they are all perfectly understandable. Consider yourself lucky to have been turned down immediately. Some girls don’t even have the guts to immediately turn down someone and instead stall and avoid you, running away from the situation.
Why, thank you! Yeah, logic isn’t my field, I got D+ on mid term, but I passed the class thanks to extra credits. So, I can’t write sophisticated stuff, I can only write simply since I’m a simple person living a simple life. Yeah, I know that type of girls, typical protagonists in shojo manga. Well, retrospectively, they probably didn’t even need the guts to turn down the meek, such gentle spirited boys like me.
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