Music Review: Break the Cocoon by Yoriko

I mentioned this in a previous post weeks ago, but Break the Cocoon by Yoriko is THE female J-rock song “of the year”. Or even of the decade/century/millenia. This is the first time I’ve ever been moved enough to search out the lyrics, translate it myself and attempt a review of a song.

What Break the Cocoon screams out is pure passion and emotion, with Yoriko’s slightly rough and straining vocals exuding the feelings behind the song. She wrote the song and the lyrics as well, so this ain’t no bubblegum manufactured pop. This is no sugar sweet song, but a tragic angsty rock ballad. Even if the lyrics are incomprehensible to non-Japanese speakers, any listener can hear the difference in the amount of passion, soul and emotion this song has over other lesser songs.

The song itself comprises of the vocals, very heavy bass, electric guitar and piano, in the order of importance.

The very heavy bass makes up most of the accompaniment, with piano lines and guitars riffs in the background as well. The guitar is the wailing sort, rather than just noisy power-chords, and goes with her vocal lines very well. There is a MIDI piano version of the song, which can be heard once you enter her webpage.

Break the Cocoon starts rather calmly, crescendoing into a climax at the 3/4 mark, before quietening down towards the end, where Yoriko sings 1.5 minutes of Engrish. The crescendo of emotion is largely due to her vocals and the increasingly complex wailing guitar riffs that come with it. The volume of the accompanying music stays roughly the same. The verses are just as beautiful as the chorus, unlike some songs where you sit through it just waiting for the chorus.

And for those who have watched the Speed Grapher anime, this is the second ending song for it, completely suited for Kagura’s metamorphosis.

The art on the cover was done by the character designer Kozaki Yuusuke of Speed Grapher, who together with Yoriko herself, created it from the image he got from listening to the song. The background and text art is by Yoriko. She’s also quite the game fan, her own homepage is pretty cool, done like an old fashioned RPG.

I searched the net for over an hour, trawling through English, Japanese and Chinese sites for BtC’s lyrics. I was about to give up when it dawned on me that it would be easier trying to search for popular Japanese lyric websites, and then searching from there rather than straight from Google. Foolish me. I did find one in the end, but it was set in a Flash file and could not be extracted as text. So I typed the whole thing out, checking the pronounciation of the Kanji, and finally translating it into English. I’m not any good with either language, so if someone could edit it to make the English version sound better, please do. I made a romanji version as well.

The lyrics are pretty metaphoric, much like most Japanese songs. The whole song is basically about breaking out of her shell and reaching someone outside of it, with her singing voice.

Break the Cocoon by Yoriko

I removed the kanji for easy reading.

Break the Cocoon (Lyrics) by Yoriko

ながいゆめ まゆのなか とおりすぎてゆく たびびとたち
It’s a long dream, inside the cocoon, with travellers passing through
からだが ふるえる こどうが  みゃくうつ
My body is trembling, my pulse is pounding

いまにも こわれそうな こころで なんども ふりしぼる
Even now with my breaking heart, I’ll keep on straining my voice
ただうたを うたうために このいのちを いかすために
just to sing the song, to revive this life

だれにもとどかず ちがうものに けされてゆくだけなら
If I reach nobody, and just disappear
わたしの うまれてきた いみは なに?
What is the meaning of me living so far?

ただうたうを あなたに つたえられるのならば
If i can reach you with this song
どんなにふかいきずを おってもかまわない
I won’t care how deep the wounds I bear
ただつたえられるのなら それでいいんだ
as long as I reach you, it’ll be alright.

ながいたび まゆのなか たびびとたちが うたってくれた
It’s a long journey, inside the cocoon, travellers sang for me
こころが さけびだす なにかが めざめてゆく
My heart is screaming out for somebody to find me

じぶんじゃない じぶんでは
It’s not me, it’s inside me
すべてがきずつき あれてゆくだけだった
Everything’s wounded, only becoming stormy
だれでもいいから わたしのなまえをよんで
Anyone, just call my name

しんじつもせいろんも すべて タバコといっしょに もみけされて
With tobacco I rub away both truth and justice
そんなに かみきれが ほしいなら
If you want that kind of paper scrap
そんなに みかえりが ほしいなら
If you want that kind of collateral
あげましょう このうでを きりおとして
Then I’ll give you this hand I cut off
only when this heart is broken
かなしみと いかりを ぜつぼうのつるぎにかえて ふりおろす
The sword of despair swings down and replaces sorrow and anger

ながいよる まゆから ひかりが そらへ つきぬけてゆく
It’s a long night, from the cocoon, light bursts forth to the sky
たびびとたち つばさを ひろげて そらへ ときはなたれてゆく
travellers spread their wings and are released to the sky

にぎりしめたままの てのひらをひらいてみた
I tried opening my palm that was grasping tight
そこにはたびびとが うたってくれたうたが ずっとにぎりしめられていた
There, always, I held the songs the travellers sang for me

ただうたを あなたに つたえるために
I sing just to reach you
かぞえきれないほどの おもいをにぎりしめて
I hold tight the thoughts with uncountable bounds
I was born and raised here.

Romanji version

Nagai yoru mayu no naka toorisugiteyuku tabibitotachi
Karadaga furueru kodouga myakuutsu

Ima ni mo kowaresouna kokorode nandomo furishiboru
Tada uta wo utau tameni kono inochi wo ikasu tameni

Dare nimo todokazu chigaumononi kesareteyukudakenara
Watashino umaretekita imi wa nani?

Tada utau wo anata ni tsutaerareru no naraba
Donna ni fukai kizu wo ottemokamawanai
Tada tsutaerareru no nara sore de iin da

Nagai tabi mayu no naka tabibitotachi ga utatte kureta
Kokoroga sakebidasu nanikaga mezameteyuku

Jibun ja nai jibun dewa
Subetega kizutsuki areteyukudakedatta
Daredemo ii kara watashi no namae wo yonde

Shinjitsu mo seiron mo subete tabako to issho ni momikesarete
Sonnani kamikire ga hoshii nara
Sonnani mikaeri ga hoshii nara
Agemashou kono ude wo kiriotoshite
Kono kokoro ga kowasareru kurai nara
Kanashimi to ikari wo zetsubou no tsurugi ni kaete furiorosu

Nagai yoru mayu kara hikari ga sora e tsukinuketeyuku
Tabibito tachi tsubasa wo hirogete sora e tokihanatarete yuku

Nigirishimetamama no te no hira wo hiraitemita
Soko niwa tabibitoga uttatekureta uta ga zutto nigirishimerareteita

Tada uta wo anata ni tsutaeru tameni
Kazoekirenai hodo no omoi wo nigirishimete
Watashi wa koko ni umaretekitan da

For a limited time, I’m hosting this song for a trial download. Get it here now within 24 hours!!

12 Responses to “Music Review: Break the Cocoon by Yoriko”

  • Well guess what?  i am listening to the song even as I pen down some thoughts to add.

    I think what hits you almost immediately when the songs starts is the catchy, yet repetitive nature of the tune.  I must say that the combination of wailing electric guitars, hard-hitting notes of the piano keys, plus the beat of the percussion instruments was a potent one, in particular the chemistry between the piano notes and that of the percussion beats. 

    I’d have to say that, being a rock piece, one would definitely expect the electric guitar to take centre-stage, but instead, I would dare say that the piano notes staged a serious upset here.  The period where the piano notes were kept to a minimum after the end of the second chorus was really original.  Two outstanding parts of the song that justifies my view would be the chorus and the piano solo after the third stanza.  However, while this music arrangement makes the song, unique, however, it does not justify its "outstanding" tag yet, after all, its not new to meld piano with rock pieces.

    What makes this song truly outstanding is the vocals of Yoriko.  Raw, powerful, emotional, her voice is perfectly suited for this angsty rock song, and embodies evertything I think a rock singer has.  More often than not the voices of rock singers have been very unwieldy, while others with potential do not bother understanding the tone of the song and sing in such a flat style that pisses me off.  There are these others who love to scream mindlessly into microphones like savages, and this, in general, has turned me off rock songs.  Yoriko’s voice dynamism reminds me of my favourite singer, Eva Cassidy, especially in the area of pitch control, which I have found to be totally lacking in most rock songs.  Really, a thumbs-up for her efforts put into this song.

    Of course, being an aspiring audiophile, I can’t resist but comment on the quality of the sound produced.  While I’m listening to the 320kps version of the song, it seems that the piano sometimes gets drowned out by the electric guitars, and this might boil down to the quality of the recording.  in addition, the piano notes are not crisp enough to satisfy me, almost as if its peak has been cut off.  Limitations again of mp3 songs, they tend to cut of sounds above 20 000 hz, which irritates me to no end.  In addition, I also take issue with the sometimes murky mix of music, the overall clarity of all instruments, including Yuriko’s voice.  I am unable to completely  separate the percussions, voice, piano, and electric guitar, then point out and say "see there is no sound."  Still, I exaggerate.  Its in .mp3 format, and the arrangement plus vocals is enough for me to gloss over such inadequecies.Lastly, I have to commend the songwriters on perservering to the end, and ending the song on a decent note.  many a times, songs have faltered at the end with an abrupt end.  This time though, you can really feel the song winding down.  The feeling is like being launched 30 000 feet up into the air during the song at the climax, then opening up a parachute to cushion your fall back to Earth, leaving a feel-good taste in your mouth.

    In a nutshell: Why are you still reading my crappy comments?  Go download it before riuva takes it off his site!

  • congrats for what could be the longest comment on this site ever. And Riuva is the name of this site… not me. Thanks for the positive comment though. YORIKO~~~~~ Break the Cocoon!

  • I seriously don’t get you guys. Nothing spectacular to me except for catchy tunes and great guitar intro.Possibilities:1. I’ve been filling myself with nonsensical anime songs that have whiny voices screaming cuteness, thus rendering myself a barrier against great songs which sound normal.2. I’ve only listened to Break the Cocoon from Speed Grapher for a few bad episodes, thus making me subconciously not willing to like it.3. I am supporting YUI so biasness sets in.4. You’ve been recommending so many songs that I can’t even decide which one to focus on to listen properly so in the end I treat them all like UNDER17′s Kujibiki Unblanace.5. I’m right and the song isn’t spectacular and you two above are making a big fuss out of it.There you have it. 5 possibilities. My choice is Option 1. PPD’s "oooooh MAHO!" and UNDER17′s "kujibiki anbaransu!" have been making me mad recently. Even at work. Time for abstinence.

  • Ok i revise my statement.
    That was too harsh.  I apologise.  Break the Cocoon absolutely rocks my socks off.  After listening to it twice I’m totally hooked now.  Now I’m not going mad, I’m going
    Sorry tjhan and kok.

  • Mr Kokanaden, the one thing I hate is someone imposting me or my friend’s name. You’ve been banned from my anime stash for the next two weeks. Congratulations.

  • Wow, that long review considering it’s only one song. Anyway. Break the cocoon is good song, but not really out of ordinary in anime. For me Girls on film is much better(op from same anime).

  • GIrls on Film isn’t exactly an anime song right? Isn’t it by Duran Duran or something? But I dont like it.

  • It’s spelled romaji not romanji :P

  • Actually, its interchangeable.

  • It’s 2 months later, but I was tracing the same steps to find the same lyrics to the same awesome song.

    I think Kokanaden(tm) took the cake for writing up a fair assessment so I’ll keep my 2c, but massive props to tj for paying this piece the direly missing attention that it needs and translating it for my karaoke desires KEKEKE.


  • hello the lyrics of Break the Cocoon is not finish

  • I became a fan of Break the Cocoon since day1! The song is just so outstanding and definitely the credit goes to Yoriko! ^_^

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