Note: Originally posted October 24, 2009
Obviously there is some danger in translating wikipedia articles, as they are liable to change, but honestly, it's probably the best resource out there that I know of right now to learn about HAPPY END. (And yeah, I'm gonna go back and edit the English into the post before this post, too.)
Anyways, this is an article about their concept ofkazemachi. You could probably translate this as "breeze town" or "wind town," but I think that sounds horrible and cheesy, so I refuse to do that.* It's a super amazing concept that you could almost say is very similar to Hayao Miyazaki's sentiments when he designs the scenery for his movies. Basically, talking about nostalgia in my last actual translation post hit the nail on the head -- this band is all about nostalgia. I'm in love.
Anyways, here's what I came up with to translate what I found here (today, so apologies if it has changed):
Kazemachi is a concept established by the rock band HAPPY END. It depicts the Tokyo scenery lost since the Tokyo Olympics, with old fashioned imagination. They are presenting impressions of the Aoyama, Shibuya, Azabu, and surrounding areas from the era before Tokyo Tower was constructed. However, since "It's Summer" from the recording Kazemachi Romance is a depiction of Matsumoto's boyhood memories of summer vacation spent at the Ikahon hot springs (the home of his grandfather), it's not the case that they limited it to just purely Tokyo scenery.
The work of manga artist Shinji Nagashima had such a big influence on these atmospheres that at HAPPY END's first concert when they played "It's spring, c'mon!" Eiichi Ootaki announced, "This is a song dedicated to Mr. Shinji Nagashima."
It can be said that all of HAPPY END's work is connected to this idea of kazemachi. Especially in works such as their masterpiece, Kazemachi Romance, they sing in a deep, detailed way about the appearance of kazemachi.
(1) I'm not gonna do super detailed notes this time. Just to sum up the experience, though, I would say that the second line was definitely the hardest part to translate, and you can tell, since it's sort of janky. ものis not the most concrete concept, since it can be a person or a thing or pretty much whatever. (Also janky is the font in the post, for whatever reason...I've been having weird font size/type issues this whole time...) Anyhow, other than that...I apparently really need to track down some Shinji Nagashima manga.
*In a similar way you could call 風街ろまん, "Breeze Town Romance" which sounds similarly awful. PS - This has been edited ;p Way to go anyone who clicked on this and saw me totally misread the album title.