Simple and Clean

At work, whenever I’m doing something that requires a lot of thought, I’ll usually put on either Goa-Psy (tecno), classical, or J-Pop. It’s lunch, and I’m at my desk, so I decided to tune into JPopSuki tv. (It’s linked on the sidebar here somewhere. Great online TV station, but you need Winamp to watch it.)

I gotta say, I’m finding myself enjoying Japanese music videos a lot more than English ones (at least American ones); they tend to be a bit more “cartoonish”, as if they’re not affraid to try weird stuff. (Most of the time. Sometimes they suck just as badly as most American ones, like just about every video I’ve seen from Skapra.)

At any rate, getting back to the point. I just finished watching the video for Utada Hikaru’s Hikari, which is one of my favorite songs, and — well, it wasn’t anything I had expected. The English version of the song, which was used in the game Kingdom Hearts by Disney/Square-Enix, is titled Simple and Clean. The chorus lyrics go something like this:

Simple and clean
is the way that you’re making me
feel tonight.
It’s hard to let it go…

Not bad. Not exactly the height of lyricism, but what the hay. Here’s what’s odd: the version I heard was the Japanese version, which again is called Hikari. The word “Hikari” means (according to this page) “(n) skips-most-stations Toukai-line Shinkansen” or “(n) light; (P)”. By the context of the video — in which the singer was at the kitchen sink, washing her dishes… throughout the entire video — I’m guessing it has to do with the second. I’m not quite sure how, but it makes more sense than “skips-most-stations”.

Now, what I’d like to know is (1) why Disney (or Square-Enix, for that matter) used a song about washing dishes for a fantasy video game, and (2) how “hikari” turns into “simple and clean.”

That’s just… weird.

By the way, I got some seriously disturbing images goind a Google Image Search on “Hikari” — with the safety turned on! Can someone tell me what’s going on here?

3 thoughts on “Simple and Clean

  1. i don’t think the song is about washing dishes, but “simple and clean”… what better way to signify that than with washing dishes? i guess it was either that or taking a shower, though this looks like it’s more family friendly.

  2. Yeah, um, I don’t think that the song was about washing dishes either
    (I’m not trying to bash) I mean, I’m Japanese, and I understand the Lyrics in both English and Japanese, I guess it was just a random recording, because I think she would do the ‘real’ thing in a recording studio…. I’m not flaming or anything, so don’t be angry or anything! (>n

  3. Yeah, actually the question was asked rhetorically. The song’s not at all about washing dishes, but I was, like, “Wait, what’s up with the dishes?” This was an attempt at humor which failed. Miserably. Thanks for the comment, though, Saya 😉

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