しあわせになりたい
(shiawase ni naritai)*
あなたとしあわせになりたい
(anata to shiawase ni naritai)

I want happiness
I seek happiness
to cause your happiness
to be your happiness

"Shiawase ni naritai" is almost certainly the most pervasive phrase from the Japanese manga Clover, written by CLAMP. It appears as part of the primary song/poem, scattered throughout the four volumes. The phrase itself literally means "I want to become happy" but is usually translated as "I want happiness" in the English versions. In fact, there are two different complete versions of the poem both in Japanese and in English, one on the dust jackets of each of the first two volumes. The front of the dust jackets contains the Japanese text and the back contains an English translation similar in meaning to the Japanese in each volume.

だからつれてって
(dakara tsurete tte)
遠くまでつれてって
(tooku made tsurete tte)
ここじゃないどこかへ
(koko ja nai doko ka e)
つれてって私を
(tsurete tte watashi wo)

so take me
someplace far away
to a true Elsewhere
please take me there

In a sense, these lines are Kazuhiko’s theme. He is one of the main characters and in a sense the guardian of Suu (the other main character, the “four-leaf clover”, the one with the most power). When she first meets him, she asks him, “Are you the person who will take me away?”* From the first scene we find out that it has become his job to take Suu where she needs to go and watch over her, so he truly is the one to take her away. Originally he just takes her from her garden prison to go on his required mission, but eventually he has taken her completely away from the life she would have led had she not gone with him.

解けない魔法
(tokenai mahou)
終わらないキス
(owaranai kisu)
覚えない夢
(oboenai yume)
消えない幸せ
(kienai shiawase)

magic that lasts
never-ending kiss
revery without break
unperishable bliss

Sometimes we truly get a sense that Suu is singing along with some music we cannot hear. As his stereo finishes playing a song, Kazuhiko asks her, “Do you want to hear it again?”* When she agrees and it presumably plays, these lines appear and we get the impression that she sings them along with the stereo.

私をつれてって
(watashi wo tsurete tte)
しあわせににりたい
(shiawase ni naritai)

take me
I want happiness

Later on, when Suu and Kazuhiko are captured, she sings along to a radio (which happens to be playing her song somehow) after Kazuhiko discovers that she does not know what a radio is, having been isolated most of her life. When she explains to him that she went into isolation of her own free will, the entire song up to this point repeats to reinforce her desire to be taken elsewhere. She stayed because she wanted to stay, but she also wanted to be taken somewhere, anywhere that wasn’t there.

鳥たちが唄う
(toritachi ga utau)
知らない言葉の詩
(shiranai kotoba no uta)
翼があっても
(tsubasa ga attemo)
届かない空
(todokanai sora)
独りではいけない場所
(hitori de wa ikenai basho)
だからつれてって
(dakara tsurete tte)
ここじゃないどこかへ
(koko ja nai dokoka e)

birds sing
song of unknown tongue
though winged, they
still fail to reach the sky
a place to be treaded alone
so take me
to a true Elsewhere

One of the more beautiful and poetic stanzas of the song, this part appears when Suu, walking with Kazuhiko, sees an object that yet again triggers memories for her. On the page before it, a closeup on the object reveals a picture of Suu’s friend Oruha, who actually wrote this song with her. Like Suu, she appears in pictures with mechanical wings on her back, and in every picture, she appears to be singing. The words are displayed on an empty sky crossed with power lines, a very interesting contrasting effect in a manga full of contrasting effects.

濡れた羽根
(nureta hane)
絡れた指
(karareta yubi)
融けた躰
(toketa karada)
重ねた心
(kasaneta kokoro)

wet feathers,
locked fingers,
melted flesh,
fusing minds

Singing along to a radio again, Suu imagines Oruha singing their song. As they sing together in her memory, Suu’s wings seem to have transformed from their previous mechanical appearance to a more natural feathery one for a moment.

私をつれてって
(watashi wo tsurete tte)
しあわせににりたい
(shiawase ni naritai)

take me
I want happiness

Falling asleep to the sound of Kazuhiko’s voice, while swirls of hair tied with a ribbon dance across the page, Suu again remembers Oruha singing those words so often with her.

あなたの過去より
(anata no kako yori)
あなたの現在が欲しい
(anata no genzai ga hoshii)
途切れそうな未来を手繰り寄せて
(togiresou na mirai wo tekuriyosete)

Not your past
but your present is what I seek,
carefully winding back its fragile thread

Almost every time a significant piece of the poem appears, we also see a picture of Oruha as well, always with mechanical wings, although her significance does not truly become apparent until later. However, it is really the memory of her that keeps this song playing through Suu’s mind constantly. Yet, she does not really want to just always think of Oruha as she was: she wants to be happy with Oruha now, even though they have been separated.

つれてって私を
(tsurete tte watashi wo)
しあわせになりたい
(shiawase ni naritai)

please take me there
I want happiness

Repeated over and over, these fragments of the poem form a melodic background to the ephemeral story, as if Suu were constantly singing her song in her head the whole time. The first time we hear these phrases is right before Kazuhiko meets Suu at the beginning, and we hear them a number of times throughout the story, weaving their melody throughout. In a story where magic is interwoven with technology and happiness mingles with sadness and remembrance of the past, this poem ties the whole thing together.

*The romanization was done by me, as were the translations of what the characters say.

Both the English and the Japanese versions of the poem given here are from the first volume.

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