|For your translation of "KITTENISH", I think you went too literal sometimes - like "motto ookiku natte" does mean "if [insert subject here] become bigger" but it really is used colloquially to mean "to grow up." Also, I'm not sure where you got "it wouldn't be that guy, but me who'd always be by your side". I mean, that person maybe but guy seems too gendered considering the constant lack of subjects in this song. (Forgive me, I think way too much about her lyrics and this song is a favorite.)|
Whoops, read more because I went on a bit.
I did go quite literal with it, but that’s because the lyrics really were written from the perspective of a cat and I wanted to keep that influence in the song. This is what I referenced while translating (MEG talking about “KITTENISH” in MARQUEE Vol. 67, June 2008):
“This song first had the title ‘Neko’ [cat in Japanese]. I have a cat at home, but he resembles me very closely. I know these things about him because I’ve been raising him since the time he was a kitten, but as he’s a boy, he does have something like pride and he can’t be obedient, and he’s temperamental, and when I think he’s suddenly coming over wanting to be held, he decides ‘never mind’ and starts playing by himself, but he appears to get anxious when he can’t see me, so he’s a cute kid who always seems to be looking over here from somewhere in the room. Despite the fact that he can’t speak, there are many things I can guess from the tone of his voice or his behavior. Like ‘maybe he’s thinking about something like this,’ or ‘maybe this is boring for him right now,’ or ‘ah, that made him happy’ — I’m somehow able to understand that. So, he has a link to me in some areas through those things.”
MEG often writes while imagining situations outside of her own and did this a lot on STEP in particular, so I followed her lead and decided to envision her cat Liu as the character she was writing about. In this case, “becoming bigger” is wanting to be big enough to accompany his owner out to wherever she’s going instead of the person she’s with, who I personally took to be male; I’ve rarely heard the word directed towards women myself, though I know it’s possible. I’m sure there are subtler ways I could’ve gone about it to make the feline aspect of the song more metaphorical, but then you have lines like “I pulled out the drawers and tried looking for you” which are so overt that I can’t imagine a person in that place. (Actually, this line made me even more inclined to use Liu as the protagonist because MEG has described that exact habit he has of pulling open drawers while she’s out of the house before.) Compared to translations like this one which were so unfocused as to become meaninglessly vague, I thought I’d need to have a clear subject for the song to make sense.
Anyway, sorry this is ridiculously long, but I wanted to respond in detail for people who wondered why I translated it the way I did. Everything is always up to personal interpretation, so I’ll gladly reblog other translations of the song on Tumblr if there are any.