Note from Dear Leader Khatzumoto: The following post is by Momoko, and not me. Momoko likes to use language that we don’t approve of here at AJATT. It’s like she’s doing that teenage rebellion thing, but like 15 years too late…way to be on time, champ. Um…I actually tried bowdlerizing her text, but then…yeah, anyway…
This is the fourth (extremely late) installment in a new (ideally) weekly series by Momoko, 「お巫山戯（ふざけ）、日本語で」, or “F***ing around in Japanese”.
お待たせ（またせ）！So sorry to keep you waiting for this week’s お巫山戯. The Khatz and I attended two big wedding parties last week, and, being the grungy T-shirts-lounge-pants-and-sneaker-wearing geeks that we are, it took a LOT of effort and focus and positive pep talks (and bribes from our friends) to get us off our lazy a**es and into formal attire. Anything formal…is like Kryptonite to us…but we did it…and it was actually incredibly fun, and we’re extremely lucky to have such awesome, patient friends. But, like I said, it took a bit of time and energy so that is why this is so late this week.
I’ve decided to take a short break from my recent obsession with potty training (I’m guessing you’d probably like to give your gag reflex a rest) and turn to something much more…pretty…and sparkling and cozy like pink hearts and glitter and fluffy bunnies!! So this week we’re going to take out our frilly Lolita umbrellas and frolic around in the magical Hello-Kitty-esque land of…
Just what exactly is 可愛い（かわいい）? Let me introduce you to some experts on the subject…
This little kitten （子貓／こねこ） is 可愛い…
So is this extremely sleepy （眠い／ねむい） one:
And this kitten is SUPER kawaii (超可愛い／ちょうかわいい):
Awww, ain’t that precious. 可愛くない（かわいくない）！？ There’s only one thing more 可愛い than kittens…
Q: What do you get when you cross 可愛い with 女子高生（じょしこうせい） — those world-renowned Japanese high school girls in ultra-short-skirted (they really are, even in the winter…I’m totally in awe…no idea how they do it) uniforms?
And right now nothing is as 可愛い or 女子高生 or 萌え as the manga/anime series らき☆すた (“Lucky ☆ Star” — Yes, that is an actual star symbol in the middle. Get used to it! We’re not in Kansas anymore…)
Now, I’m warning you. The intro song, もってけ！セーラーふく (Work that sailor uniform!), is like 可愛い ON STEROIDS. Brace yourself, okay? Here’s the full/extended version, complete with Japanese lyrics (thank you tanigutanigu!):
(You can find copy-and-pasteable lyrics for the whole song here.)
I know, I know, I was a bit shell-shocked when I heard that song for the first time, too.
If you want a closer look at what hit you back there, here are the opening lyrics in all their stupefying glory. For the (rough) translation, I relied on the extremely helpful line-by-line explanation provided by a knowledgeable fan here (助かりました、パトリシア＝マーティンさん！）, the English subtitles from the video clip we’ll get to in just a minute (thanks gleipnir2!), and Khatz’s suggestions (ありがとう、ダーリン！ (^з^)-☆):
|曖昧（あいまい）３（さん）センチ||Give or take 3 cm|
|そりゃぷにってコトかい？||You saying I’m chubby?|
|らっぴんぐが制服（せいふく）・・・||Wrapped in a uniform…|
|だぁぁ不利（ふり）ってこたない||It’s not so bad|
|がんばっちゃ♥やっちゃっちゃ||Just work it ♥ And do it|
|そんときゃーっち＆Release||Then “catch and release”|
|汗（あせ） (Fuu) 々（あせ） (Fuu)||Sweaty (Whoo!)|
|Darlin’ darlin’ F R E E Z E!!||(Makes life “hard” for the guys!)|
It’s like peering into the jaws of madness, no?
Guess what? Most Japanese people feel completely lost, too. Here is just a sampling of the online comments I came across when I was sweating blood trying to understand and translate the lyrics:
These are lyrics you just can’t think too hard about.
Don’t think too hard about it. F*** it.
Yeah!! You better not think about this song!! Just listen to it!!
And of course, the predictable
from a smitten geek.
I even stumbled upon this hilarious mock-conspiracy-theory “exposé” that reveals how the mysterious lyrics encode information about the coming annihilation of humanity （人類滅亡／じん・るい・めつ・ぼう） in World War III （第三次世界大戦／だい・さん・じ・せ・かい・たい・せん）! (It’s even illustrated like a manga with awesome ASCII art. If you need one reason to learn Japanese, this is it…)
Why is it so hard for even Japanese people to understand the lyrics? Because under the breezy surface of this cute little song lies a Pandora’s box chock-full of school girl slang, clever word play and sexual innuendo. Linguistically speaking, this is some dope shi**.
So let us take the advice of our Japanese betters. Just roll with it. (Or invent your own conspiracy theory.) Do NOT try to make it make sense. Just listen. Sing along. To preserve your sanity.
Now let’s skip past that really fast part to the chorus…
|もっていけ！||Take it away!|
|最後（さいご）に笑（わら）っちゃうのは||I’ll be the one laughing in the end!|
|セーラーふくだからです←結論（けつろん）||‘Cause it’s a sailor uniform. Duh!|
|月曜日（げつようび）なのに！||It’s only Monday|
|機嫌（きげん）悪い（わるい）の||And already I feel lousy!|
|どうするよ？||What to do?|
|夏服（なつふく）がいいのです||I’d rather wear my summer clothes.|
|←キャ？ ワ！ イイv||So cute!|
|接近（せっきん）３（さん）ピクト||Almost to “third base” (!)|
|するまでってちゅーちょだ||Don’t know if I’ll make it…|
|がんばって はりきって||Work it! To the limit!|
|My Darlin’ darlin’ P L E A S E!!||My darlin’, darlin’, please!!|
Wow. It doesn’t get much more 可愛い than “キャ？ ワ！ イイv” (“v” = the “v”-shaped peace/victory sign you make with your fingers…I think).
And, finally, here for your viewing entertainment and CULTURAL EDIFICATION is the first episode. In the main scene (starting at about 2 minutes into the clip), three of the four main characters — こなた （「こなちゃん」, the tomboyish one with blue hair), つかさ (the purple-haired one with a bow in her hair; her twin sister, かがみ, has pig tails), and みゆき (the overly polite, pink-haired one with glasses) — fret over the best ways to eat various pastries: a chocolate-filled cornet （チョココロネ／チョココルネ）; a cream puff （シュークリーム）; a piece of strawberry shortcake （イチゴショート）; a popsicle （アイス）; and a (soft-serve) ice cream cone （ソフトクリーム）. Enjoy:
(Is it just me, or is there something…a bit “Freudian”…about this scene? But, hey, it could just be me… I mean, what IS the best way to suck out the creamy contents of various phallic-shaped desserts? These are important philosophical questions!!)
The central question here, as posed by こなた, is which side you should eat the chocolate cornet from:
つかさ postulates that you start from the “head”:
Okay… So the next logical question would be, which end is the head: the fat one or the thin one?
つかさ opts for the thin end:
This suprises こなた, who has always thought the fat end was the “head”:
When こなた asks つかさ why she takes the former position,
つかさ argues that the chocolate cornet looks like a seashell:
And when つかさ turns the question back on こなた,
こなた offers the counter-argument that the cornet looks like a caterpillar (literally, “potato bug”),
grossing out つかさ:
Upon which こなた agrees that the seashell model is much more appetizing:
This model turns out to be more elegant in theory than in practice, however. When Konata bites the thin end, the chocolate filling squeezes out of the fat end, and she has to keep turning it around to lick the extra chocolate before it falls out.
At which point, the perfectionist Miyuki has to intervene…
She offers a third, compelling (if perhaps complicated) solution to the problem:
You can also break off the thin end and dip it in the extra chocolate (from the fat end)…
Eureka! Seems to make sense.
But after a detour into how to eat curry rice （カレーライス）, what condiments to use on what dishes, and different ways of eating egg and meat dishes, Konata realizes
she still isn’t sure which end of the cornet is the “head”…
So, comrades, let me turn this dilemma over to you: what do YOU think the best way to eat a chocolate cornet is? And which end is the “head”?
Next up, the only thing more 可愛い than school girls is:
(to be continued next week…)