Stealthman (ステルスマン, suterusuman) is a music artist impersonator with unknown objectives who calls himself “a short-term contract worker of parade punk”. He first appeared on June 23rd, 2011 at 3:30AM.
First of all, just so there’s no confusion, while there are some fans who put Sealthman in the same class as Susumu Hirasawa, it would be unwise to reach such a hasty conclusion.
Stealthman re-wrote the lyrics to the unfinished Kangen Shugi (1) version of “Boat” without permission, and then made it appear as if Susumu Hirasawa had written them. As a result of this incident, Mr. Hirasawa (Hirasawa-shi) himself made the following comment:
"I don’t understand why people are confusing me and Stealthman. I would never write such straightforward lyrics. First of all, if that were the case, it would mean that I had hit myself in the back of the head…<omitted>.” (2)
Also, it’s a well-known fact among his fans (nicknamed the uma no hone) (3) that the voices of Stealthman and Mr. Hirasawa are completely different. No matter how much Stealthman tried to imitate him, a fake voice is still a fake voice.
Summary of Events
Since Mr. Hirasawa did not report this incident to the police, there has been neither an inquiry nor an arrest warrant, making it impossible to determine Stealthman’s identity.
However, here is the extent of what we know about him from looking at tweets sent from the Twitter account of the victim, Mr. Hirasawa.
June 23rd, 2011 (3:30AM): Just as Mr. Hirasawa was about to rouse his followers, he was suddenly struck from behind with a blunt weapon.
When he came to, his hands were bound, and a katakana su had been drawn on his desktop wallpaper.
While Mr. Hirasawa was knocked out, it appears that Stealthman found his way into his official website and tried to make his opinions known to the world. (Why he attacked Mr. Hirasawa is unclear.)
Before he lost consciousness, Mr. Hirasawa was able to prevent Stealthman from doing so (at this time Mr. Hirasawa, not knowing his name, referred to him as “Su”), but Stealthman then senselessly struck one of the followers Mr. Hirasawa had planned to rouse and dropped from sight.
After being set free at a post office, Mr. Hirasawa returned home and decided to get back to work, but Stealthman is believed to have occupied a part of Mr. Hirasawa’s official site and observed him. (At that time, Mr. Hirasawa tweeted things like, “I will refrain from making vulgar remarks. I’ll be noticed by him. Feign complete ignorance.”)
June 24th, 2011 (3PM): On Mr. Hirasawa’s official site, Stealthman distributed the arrangement “Genshiryoku” for free to those who agreed with the following statement and shared his own opinions. (Mr. Hirasawa simply looked on, as he was unable to move in on the section of the site Stealthman was occupying at this time.)
"Genshiryoku" by Stealthman
The short-term contract worker of parade punk, Stealthman, has arrived unseen!
My debut/retirement work, “Genshiryoku”, is now currently being distributed at no cost for a limited time only!
Anyone can freely download and redistribute (see note) this file (song + lyrics) on the condition that they agree with the statement written on the download button below. Distribution will end at 3PM on June 29th, 2011.
Note: Distributing this file for profit, or with its sound source altered, is forbidden.
Button: [I believe that this work is by Stealthman and will download it unquestioningly]
In response, Mr. Hirasawa described it as a “Hirasawa rip-off”.
Stealthman then made yet another unexpected appearance, and forced Mr. Hirasawa not to mistake the 核種とりどり (kakushu toridori, “various nuclides”) line in the lyrics for 各種とりどり (kakushu toridori, “every kind” and “various”) by smacking him in the face.
June 28th, 2011: According to a tweet by Mr. Hirasawa, Stealthman had been drawn into a “tragic game”. (It’s not clear whether this is a metaphor for his driving back Stealthman, or one of the oft-tweeted jokes (known as Tweet(恥)) characteristic of Mr. Hirasawa. However, since he subsequently blamed him for a typo, it’s highly likely that this tweet was a joke.)
June 28th, 2011 (around 3PM): Mr. Hirasawa was once again attacked by Stealthman and bound with rope. As distribution of the “Genshiryoku” arrangement came to an end, it is believed that he executed a process that would shut down the site. Stealthman had hit Mr. Hirasawa in the back of the head in the same manner as before, but this time Mr. Hirasawa did not simply pass out, and held out for a short while. When Stealthman attempted to make his getaway, he accidentally tripped over him and fell.
Mr. Hirasawa used that opportunity to recover the audio source for the Kangen version of “Boat” from his heart-shaped pocket. It seems that the staff were also struck by Stealthman and had their keys stolen at that time.
Mr. Hirasawa once again went to the post office to have the ropes untied (although this time he was coerced into buying Kamo Mail). (4)
On the day of this attack, Mr. Hirasawa tweeted that Stealthman’s true identity might be that of Toshimi Yotsumoto… (5)
Afterwards, Mr. Hirasawa distributed the audio source that he had seized from Stealthman on his website:
Something I Stole From Stealthman
Stealthman has left under the cover of invisibility.
Stealthman occupied a part of this site and carried out the distribution of “Genshiryoku”. Just as he previously announced, he set it so that distribution would end automatically at 3PM on June 29th, and then left the site. At that time, he attacked Susumu Hirasawa with a blunt object, tied him up, and then ran off so that no one could pursue him. However, Hirasawa (平沢) did not simply pass out. While he was running away, Stealthman tripped over Hirasawa and fell. Hirasawa took out a disk from his pocket, and then after that he passed out with time to spare. These are the contents of that disk.
Anyone can freely download and redistribute (see note) this file (song + lyrics) on the condition that they agree with the statement written on the download button below. Distribution will end at 3PM on July 4th, 2011.
Note: Distributing this file for profit, or with its sound source altered, is forbidden.
Button: [I can manage just fine without Stealthman.]
Mr. Hirasawa thought that Stealthman would take this opportunity to appear again…but it seems that he is a taking an observational approach.
As Regards the Use of the Music…
Strangely enough, Mr. Hirasawa, the one who has been on the receiving end of Stealthman’s violence thus far, has remained but a silent observer, as if just watching a bug in a birdcage. Despite the fact that his own music is being used without his permission, he is responding to the comments of his fans as usual.
Perhaps he is taking a position of tacit consent regarding the distribution of his music. He is the kind of person who uses media in that way. (To this day he has not requested that the police conduct an investigation.)
Therefore, so long as Mr. Hirasawa does not formally object to them, the conditions laid out in Stealthman’s official announcement still apply.
When Mr. Hirasawa provided JOYSOUND (6) with the song’s information, he credited Stealthman with the vocals and lyrics, but the rights to the original song still belong to him. Also, since the site that the song originally appeared on was Mr. Hirasawa’s official site, any negotiations regarding requests to have the song made available for karaoke will actually have to be carried out by Mr. Hirasawa. (If Stealthman does not come out of hiding, then this will naturally be the case…) Since the rights to the lyrics belong to Stealthman, it’s possible that Mr. Hirasawa provided the site with this information after the original lyrics had been altered. (However, assuming that Stealthman’s goal was to circulate his opinions, we can’t rule out the possibility that Mr. Hirasawa permitted the distribution of the song with his lyrics.)
Just who in the world is he…?
This is a rough translation of the NicoNico Douga Encyclopedia article on Stealthman as it appeared on March 10th, 2012. It does not reflect any changes that may have been made to the original article since then.
Note that Susumu Hirasawa is referred to throughout as the Hirasawa the person (平沢) and not Hirasawa the character (ヒラサワ).
(1) “The Aggregated Past - Kangen Shugi 8760 Hours" (凝集する過去 - 還弦主義8760時間, gyoushuu suru kako - kangen shugi 8760 jikan) was the project that resulted in the albums “Totsugen Hen’i” and “Hengen Jizai”, which remixed songs from both his solo and P-Model careers with a heavier emphasis on string instruments. (The kan in kangen means “to return”; the gen means “string (of shamisen, guitar, violin, etc.)” 8760 refers the number of hours in a year.)
(2) The word translated here as “omitted” is (ry, a type of internet slang. It came about as a shortened form of ryaku (略), which is itself a shorter version of shouryaku (省略, “omission, abbreviation”). In other words, it’s an abbreviation of an abbreviation.
The rest of the original Tweet reads thus:
"…First of all, if that were the case, it would mean that I had hit myself in the back of the head and then tied myself up afterwards. Besides, our voices sound completely different.”
(3) Uma no hone (馬の骨, literally “horse bones”), is an idiom used to refer contemptuously to an obscure individual or a person of doubtful origins, i.e. a nobody. Mr. Hirasawa often uses it to refer to his Twitter followers. Other nicknames he has for them include 有象無象 (uzou-muzou, “the masses”) and 修羅 (shura, “the Asura”). As for the fans themselves, the nicknames they’ve made up for him range from 師匠 (shishou, “master; teacher”) to おっさん (ossan, a rude, mainly Kansai-region term for a middle-aged man that, in the right context, can demonstrate a degree of familiarity between the speaker and the person being addressed).
(4) Kamo mail (kamomeeru) are postcards that you can buy from the Japan Post for sending summer greetings. The name is a combination of the words for “seagull” (kamome) and “mail” (meeru).
(5) There are multiple ways to read this name, but I think that this is the correct one. The person in question has published Susumu Hirasawa-related articles and interviews on ascii.jp, and is also mentioned on Susumu Hirasawa’s Kangen Shugi site.
(6) Karaoke Joysound Wii (カラオケJOYSOUND Wii) is a karaoke video game for the Wii. It licenses the Joysound online song library from Japanese karaoke service provider Xing. Players rent the songs they want to sing for a limited period (from 24 hours to up to 90 days) from Xing’s song library.
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