niconico artists: ryo (supercell)October 2, 2009
In response to my relatively low post ratio, and to accommodate his new animation project, I decided to write up a slightly irrelevant article on one of my favourite internet artists: ryo of supercell, an aspiring lyricist/composer/arranger from the famed Japanese video streaming website, niconico douga (ニコニコ動画)
The musical group known as supercell is mainly based on the works of ryo, the founder and lyricist/composer/arranger. Among his crew are shirow miwa, redjuice, and huke, who draw illustrations to be used in the videos in which the songs are recorded.
ryo’s musical career on the internet started during late 2007, with several Miku Hatsune voice-overs of well-known anime songs, as well as an original song, “Kimi wo wasurenai” (きみをわすれない, I will not forget you.) He would not be significantly noticed until the release of MELT , (メルト) his second original work, in mid-December – again using the VOCALOID software to provide vocals. The song was released in the form of a video on niconico douga, with the illustrator 119 providing the illustration. (119 was not aware of this initially, but everything worked out in the end between the two in the end.)
The song was very well received, achieving a total of five million hits, and became the second most “mylisted” video on niconico douga.
Among his later works, posted on nico, are “Koi wa sensou”, (恋は戦争, love is war) “WORLD IS MINE”, (ワールドイズマイン) and “BLACK★ROCK SHOOTER”. (ブラック★ロックシューター)
On December 12th, 2008, ryo released “Hajimete no koi ga owaru toki”, (初めての恋が終わる時, when first love ends) his last song to be posted on niconico douga. The lyrics to this song, and English translation of such, can be found at the end of this post.
These four songs, along with MELT, and several other original songs, are included in a personal album signed under SonyMusic, titled “supercell”. This album ranked fourth on the Weekly Oricon Charts, selling 55,652 disks on its first week; quite the achievement for a debuting artist. It was eventually awarded Gold Status by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for exceeding 100,000 sales.
On August 12th, 2009, supercell released their first major single: “Kimi no shiranai monogatari”, (“君の知らない物語“, your unknown story) which was used as the ending theme to the anime series, “Bakemonogatari” (化物語). This is his first song in which Miku Hatsune was not used. Instead, the vocalist used was “nagi”, better known as “ガゼル“, a well-known singer from niconico douga.
Recently, an anime project titled the “BLACK★ROCK SHOOTER PROJECT” was announced for a 2010 airing. The series will be based on the song ブラック★ロックシューター, which was in turn inspired by huke’s illustration, (as seen above) and will be produced by the anime studio Ordet, the studio owned by the largely famous Yutaka Yamamoto (aka “Yamakan”, and the “lucky star director”).
ryo’s songs are all written, composed, and arranged by himself. Most of the lyrics in his songs tell a story, mostly depicting the emotional state of love-struck teenage girls, earning him the title of “恥ずかしい歌詞三大P”, (the great embarrassing-lyrics trio) along with ふたなりP and デッドボールP. His music is typically arranged in a band-like style, and has inspired several spinoff videos, in the form of “re-singings” by various nico artists.
Truly an individual to be reckoned with, I look forward to seeing ryo’s future works, and how he develops in the ever-changing Japanese music industry.
Out of his songs, my personal favourites are BLACK★ROCK SHOOTER, Hajimete no koi ga owaru toki, and the more well-known Kimi no shiranai monogatari, to which I will go into further explanation later on.
Hajimete no koi ga owaru toki (supposedly) tells the tale of a boy and a girl parting ways, as seen through the girl’s perspective. (there are male key&lyrics versions, however, but that is irrelevant.) The translated lyrics are grayed out and therefore unclear, in consideration to those who actually understand the lyrics, and would prefer an English-less set. The lyrics are as follows:
初めての恋が終わる時 When first love ends
はじめてのキスは涙の味がした Our first kiss tasted of tears…
まるでドラマみたいな恋 The train bells rang with perfect timing, signaling departure –
見計らったように発車のベルが鳴った as though it were a scene from a drama.
冷たい冬の風が頬をかすめる The chilling winter breeze sweeps across my cheeks,
吐いた息で両手をこすった I blow a breath as I rub my palms together.
街はイルミネーション 魔法をかけたみたい The streets are illuminated, as though bewitched;
裸の街路樹 キラキラ the bare, leafless trees sparkled.
どうしても言えなかった I really couldn’t say it,
この気持ち 押さえつけた so I kept these feelings suppressed.
前から決めていた事だから I’ve decided a long time ago,
これでいいの this is enough,
振り向かないから I won’t look back.
ありがとう サヨナラ Thank you, and goodbye,
切ない片想い these bitter unrequited feelings.
足を止めたら思い出してしまう If I stop moving, I’ll start recalling all those memories,
だから and so,
ありがとう サヨナラ thank you, and goodbye.
泣いたりしないから ‘I won’t cry, so -‘
そう思った途端にふわり As I was thinking that,
舞い降りてくる雪 snowflakes, dancing in the air, started falling from the sky,
触れたら解けて消えた melting and vanishing as I touched them.
駅へと続く大通り On the road leading to the station,
寄り添ってる二人 楽しそう a merry couple, arms joined, exclaim,
「ほら見て初雪！」 “Look! It’s the first snow!”
キミとあんな風になりたくて I wanted to be like that, with you:
初めて作った wrapped together
手編みのマフラー with the hand-knitted muffler I made.
どうしたら渡せたんだろう What do I have to do, so that I could present it to you?
意気地なし 怖かっただけ Like a coward, I was scared
思い出になるなら whether or not you would remember.
このままで構わないって “I’m fine with that.”
それは本当なの？ But, is that really the truth?
ありがとう サヨナラ Thank you, and goodbye.
いつかこんな時が来てしまうこと I always knew,
わかってたはずだわ that such a time would eventually come.
なのに …And yet,
ありがとう サヨナラ？ “thank you, and goodbye”?
体が震えてる As the train approaches,
もうすぐ列車が来るのに my body is shaking and trembling.
それは今になって And now,
私を苦しめる I’m being tormented.
繋がりたい “I want the two of us to be joined,”
どれほど願っただろう I wished for it so much.
この手は空っぽ With these empty hands,
ねえ サヨナラってこういうこと？ is this how we’re going to say goodbye?
行かなくちゃ “I have to go,”
そんなのわかってる I know, I know that;
キミが優しい事も知ってる and, I also know of your gentle kindness.
「……この手を離してよ」 “…Please, let go of my hand,”
出会えて良かった ‘I’m thankful that we met;
キミが好き I love you.’
ありがとう サヨナラ Thank you, and goodbye.
一言が言えない I couldn’t say a single word,
今だけでいい 私に勇気を but now, now you’ve given me courage –
「あのね――」 “I, um, –“,
言いかけた唇 キミとの距離は０ those lips I was speaking with, suddenly became joined with yours.
……今だけは泣いていいよね ……Is it alright for me to cry, just for this moment?
もう言葉はいらない There’s no more need for words,
お願い ぎゅっとしていて please, hold me tightly in your arms.
来年の今頃には By this time the next year,
どんな私がいて what kind of person will I,
どんなキミがいるのかな what kind of person will you, have become?
(I highly recommend the nayuta ver. of this song.)
Lyrics by ryo, as copied from supercell.sc. English translation by J.
Kimi no shiranai monogatari and BLACK★ROCK SHOOTER (and possibly more) lyrics are soon to come, so stay tuned!
Sources: Niconico dictionary entry on ryo, and the supercell blog pages.
Oh, and, just in case you haven’t noticed, you can click on the pictures above to access their respective songs. (If you can’t use nico, then google the title for a youtube.)