Engrish Soramimi: Call Me Maybe… Later
Welcome back to another bout of bad Engrish soramimi! Why do I say ‘bad Engrish soramimi’? Because the singer’s Engrish is bad, its inherent badness is Engrish, and my soramimi isn’t actual soramimi, it’s just a bad mondegreen. Why is it a bad mondegreen? Because the singer’s Engrish is bad.
But how can the singer’s Engrish be bad? ‘Call Me Maybe’ is an English song, sung by an English singer, right?
No, we’re not talking about ‘Call Me Maybe’… we’re talking about ‘Call Me Later’, a 1970s R&B song by FOXY.
Wait actually no that’s in English too wait that’s not right
OK, the actual song is ‘アッシャー幻saw曲 第一楽章 Call me later’, which roughly translates to ‘Holy shit I’m a pretentious composer who mixes random Japanese words with broken English and German to confuse listeners’. The pretentious composer in question is Sawano Hiroyuki, who composed the music for Gundam Unicorn, Guilty Crown, and Ao no Exorcist. The singer is Kobayashi Mika, who also sung Guilty Crown’s βios (another ostentatiously meaningless title!) and is apparently also an animator.
More on them later, but for now… the actual post.
(Hint: listen to the song in the video while reading the official lyrics below. Yes, they’re official. …No, they’re not.)
In the middle of night,
It was far from five.
There I’m feeling pastry buy.
Yummy ChocoLee, out of specials, egging my francs… (TL Note: ChocoLee is an artisanal chocolatier.)
Is there anyone who’ll
I hear you are!
“There’s a time in the store,
You can change all and sell if you want to.”
Dandy fine, don’t talk,
We can walk from the park,
I was a friend in my way.
“Smile like you’re living now
On sold farl.” (TL Note: Farl is a type of Irish flatbread.)
Damn you, whole meat, die under baklava. (TL Note: Baklava is a type of Ottoman sweet pastry.)
If you wonder standing by, cryo the liver. (TL Note: Cryo is a slang term meaning ‘to freeze’.)
Sold rye all myself
All the time!
And you fathered a lie,
I was far from fine.
Then you f***ing passed me by… (TL Note: *** is pronounced ‘eeel’. The actual word is ‘fucking’.)
You may talk to me, out in space, and take all my friends.
“Is there anyone whose
“I hear you out,
There’s the tiniest lock,
You get chained in your cell if you want to.
Then you find the Dao, (TL Note: Dao is a category of Chinese broadswords.)
We can walk from the guard.”
I was a fraud in Mawai… (TL Note: Mawai is a town in Haryana, India.)
‘s miles-like to Lebanon, (TL Note: ‘s is an abbreviated form of it’s)
I’m so far…
Then you holed me, tied up, down the river.
If you want to say ‘goodbye’, cry out a river.
So dry on myself
While I dine.
So, what does this all mean? Allow me to explain.
The narrator was once just an ordinary Indian woman living in Mawai, unable to sleep one night, tossing and turning because of buying too much chocolate. Suddenly, she gets an epiphany, and decides to open a bread shop. A mysterious benefactor appears and leases her a fully-stocked bakery for no cost whatsoever. Her bakery because extremely successful and sells products such as farl, baklava, rye, and even frozen chicken livers.
Several years later, the mysterious benefactor reappears and reveals to the public that the money used to acquire the bakery’s assets were stolen from a prominent Swiss bank. The narrator is promptly arrested and put under solitary confinement away from all her friends, rendering her insane.
Suddenly, a jailbreak occurs and she breaks out of her cell. Finding a broadsword on the ground, she arms herself, kills the guards, and escapes from the Mawai jail, planning to flee to Lebanon. Unfortunately, her mysterious benefactor is now the prison warden, who ties her up, traps her in a weighted barrel, and sends it down the river. As she dies, she realizes that the frivolously malicious reason this happened to her was because no matter how nice her voice is, Kobayashi Mika couldn’t sing in proper English.
She probably can’t sing in proper German either, even though she does that in βios, whose title uses a Greek character. Another track in Guilty Crown is titled ‘gエ19’. What does that mean? Well, エ is pronounced ‘eh’ in Japanese, 1 is pronounced ‘ichi’, and 9 is pronounced ‘kyuu’. g-eh-ichi-kyuu. g-ehchi-kyu. GHQ. Who titles their tracks like this? Other esoterically named tracks include ‘BGM的-suite 3rd-Mov. Hyou×(依+変)’ and ‘IiMuRoYa-$.feat 3rd-Mov. HEiW@→KiZUN@’.
It also makes me wonder how Sawano Hiroyuki came up with these lyrics, too. Does he actually fluently speak German? Several other tracks in the Ao no Exorcist OST are also in German, and by ‘several’, I mean ‘one’. And then in the Guilty Crown’s OST, you have this completely inexperienced Engrish singer but then these actual professional hired rappers? Where did they get the money to do this? Why would the rappers rap for such a terribad anime? Why would Sawano waste his talent on Guilty Crown?
Why would I make this kind of crappy post?