The Benzene series is a group of abstract songs named after aromatic compounds derived from benzene. The most popular songs from the series are "Paradichlorobenzene" (over 3 million views) and "Antichlorobenzene" (over 1 million views).
Interpretations are clearly open for this series, for it could be interpreted in many different ways. Not until "Toluene" is it stated that there is actually a "meaning" ("Paradichlorobenzene" and "Antichlorobenzene" claim that there is no meaning).
However, Owata-P posted some comments on his blog that the lyrics carry hidden messages and meanings, and announced that there are many clues in the video. He has not elaborated what they are, but has said that interpretations can differ in individuals. The same applies to this page, which is only an analysis. It does not hold a fixed correct interpretation.
Starting from "Paradichlorobenzene", the songs in the series were always uploaded at the exact same time and date for each year, September 19 at 03:55 AM. It was consistent for three years straight (2009, 2010, and 2011). There are also several other patterns to it.
Benzene (C6H6) is the most basic type of aromatic hydrocarbon. Some field specialists may call it "benzol" instead, with a more German flavour.
"Benzine" and "benzene" are homophones, but they represent completely different substances.
As a functional group, benzene is called a "phenyl group". Phenyl groups are usually abbreviated as "Ph". An aromatic hydrocarbon functional group is called an "aryl group", both the phenyl group and the naphthalene group belong to the aryl group.
In benzene, six carbon atoms are arranged in a tortoise shell shape (hexagon), and each carbon takes on sp2 hybridization for its electron orbitals. In resonance, benzene's carbon atoms appear to alternate between double and single bonds, but in reality, the π electrons are delocalized and do not belong to any specific bond.
Moreover, all bonds in a benzene molecule are equivalent and do not vary according to resonance. To emphasise the delocalization of the electrons, it's often to draw a benzene ring as a hexagon with a circle enclosed inside.
Benzene is a basic substance in the chemical industry represented by petrochemistry, and the following four chemicals, similar in structure and properties, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, are often called by their initial letters "BTEX".
..is what they say, but this explanation has absolutely nothing to do with this video. Now then, shall we move on to the actual song?
The song started with an explanation on "Benzene" (C6H6). It explains the forms of Benzenes, how they are formed, the chemicals, and also other examples of chemicals which are similar to Benzene "toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene". Do they have anything to do with the series? Toluene turns out to be the fifth song to it. Though by the end of the explanation, the long explanation had nothing to do with the video.
Now then, shall we move on to the actual song?
As commented by both Paradichlorobenzene and Antichlorobenzene, "the two songs" (which may refer to Benzene and Nitrobenzene) has no meaning. Though Toluene said that there may be a meaning to it. Nonetheless, at first sight, it doesn't seem like there's a meaning to the song at all.
After the explanation as well as at the end, "Han'nyara youjo!!" is sung, which means "Prajnaparamita little girl!!" Prajnaparamita is made of the two words, prajñā "wisdom" and pāramitā "perfection, thus in English making it "Perfection of
Transcendent Wisdom". It is a view of a perfect seeing reality, within Buddhism. "Zun dara mochi, iso gin chaku, benzene. ヽ(゜゜)ノ Benzene! ♪ " (which means "Rice cake (mochi), sea anemones, benzene. ヽ(゜゜)ノ Benzene!♪") is repeated throughout the song, with the only valid sentences saying "there is no meaning to this verse". "Therapeutic" is a medical side effect, which is good for said patient. In this case, it may mean that "brainwashing" had a "good" or beneficial side effect. This likely applies to the other brainwashing songs.
One of the video's tags on Niconico Video said: "the people who laugh from Paradichlorobenzene and Antichlorobenzene". In both songs it's written there are those who "laugh", this song, Benzene, may be the song the "people" laugh at. In Niconico Video, many "hahaha / LOL / wwww" comments are posted in Benzene. In fact, the amount of comments are far, far, greater in amount than the mylist (30,000 comments with only 6,000 mylist).
An organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5NO2, it has the structure of a benzene ring with an additional nitro group. Also known as nitrobenzol or oil of mirbane, and with a sweet taste, it's a yellow oil-like substance. It's toxic and almost insoluble in water. It has a fragrance similar to almond jelly, or rotten peach.
It's mainly used to produce aniline or its precursors, for example, methylenediphenyl diisocyanate, to be used in the production of rubber, insecticide, or pesticide. It's also used in shoe and floor polishes, leather dressings, paint solvents, and other materials to mask unpleasant odors.
In chemical reactions, nitrobenzene is used as a meta-deactivator. Redistilled, as oil of mirbane, nitrobenzene has been used as an inexpensive perfume for soaps. A significant merchant market for nitrobenzene is its use in the production of the analgesic paracetamol (a.k.a acetaminophen).
Nitrobenzene is also used in Kerr cells, as it has an unusually large Kerr constant.
Acute symptoms from nitrobenzene either inhaled as a vapor or absorbed through the skin include methemoglobinemia, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and nausea. Chronically, it causes liver damage. It's suspected to cause cancer, as demonstrated in animal experiments, but in humans its carcinogenic property has not yet been proven, so it is classified by the IARC as a Group 2B carcinogen, which is "possibly carcinogenic to humans".
The NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level) dosage is estimated to be 1.2 mg/m3 (inhalation) or 0.36 mg/kg/day (oral intake).
...but, all that has nothing to do with this so whatsoever.
A type of singing mainly used in jazz, utilizing meaningless syllables (e.g. "dabadaba", "dubidubi", etc.) to sing improvised melody (ad lib).
This type of singing, or, rather than using a song, aims to utilize vocalization as a separate instrument. Jazz musician Louis Armstrong is known as the first person to use scat.
In the middle of a recording, he forgot the lyrics, so he substituted real words with improvised words, which turned out well. The staff decided to use the "failed" version. This is how scat singing came into being.
Like the previous song, Benzene, Nitrobenzene (C6H5NO2) started with a long description of the chemical. Nitrobenzene is said to be a yellow oil-like substance, insoluble in water (the cat who drowned in the water?). It has various uses starting from the made of rubber, soap, and many more. When breathed, it may cause dizziness or nausea.
…but, all that has nothing to do with this whatsoever.
The song later talked about the order of sharps and flats, and also "scat". The method used in singing jazz as performed by Len there in the song. It is said that Louis Armstrong used the "method" scat, because he forgot the lyrics, and decided to improvise.
There are also meaningful lyrics: "Does this song have a meaning?" "The meaning is Nitrobenzene." And what is nitrobenzene? Nitrobenzene was already explained in the beginning of the song. So, Owata-P's comment on "it has nothing to do with this" may be a trick.
Also, why is there an explanation of scat? It may be mean that Len forgets the lyrics to the song, and replaces it with Nitrobenzene.
The song features an animated PV featuring both Len and Rin and computer graphics. The word "Paradichlorobenzene" is repeated constantly throughout the video. There are also frames that flash for less than a second that explain details of the chemical (C6H4Cl2, also known as 1,4-Dichlorobenzene or paradichlorobenzene). On the surface, it seems the word has little to do with the meaning of the song - in fact the lyrics tell that the song and the word have no meaning.
One of the interpretations is that Len sings of the tendency for artists whose works are rubbished insensitively or unregarded, and they become jealous of others' work, which they see as better or beloved. As a result, these artists will usually try to erupt in violence and rage against him/herself and others insensitively.
Unlike the two previous songs, it doesn't start with a long explanation of chemicals. Instead, people's "thoughts". Owata-P in this case, may be represented as the cat. In Owata-P's community, twitter, official site, and even in videos, he's often depicted as a black haired boy/girl with cat ears and a tail. However that's just an interpretation.
One of the lyrics written in Paradichlorobenzene said something, that connects all the four songs together:
And then you laugh at me → Benzene, and Nitrobenzene
This song mainly talks about "Paradichlorobenzene", as a "reply" more than a "continuation" to a series (not that there is any moving plot whatsoever in this series). Owata-P said so in his video description of Antichlorobenzene, saying "This is my answer. And so, question".
It could be interpreted that Rin here, wants to be right, and keeps on calling everyone wrong. (A keyword from Paradichlorobenzene said "I am right, and you are wrong"). Having to have a large amount of hatred to a specific person, to the point where one gets so mad, Rin thrust the cat into the pond.
From this point, it's hard to tell which is evil, and which isn't. Antichlorobenzene speaks of "them" (Paradichlorobenzene) as evil, though Toluene speaks of "them" (Paradichlorobenzene and Antichlorobenzene) as knowing nothing at all.
The movie done by Mieno-hito, several of the lyrics or words are written upside down, it can be interpreted that it symbolizes that it's a complete opposite to "Paradichlorobenzene". Also, note that Antichlorobenzene is not a real compound or mixture or element; unlike the other songs in the series.
The fifth song of the Benzene series, Toluene (C7H8). It seems that this song is an answer song to both Paradichlorobenzene and Antichlorobenzene (the lyrics, and also from the flashes of Paradichlorobenzene and Antichlorobenzene; Nitrobenzene and Benzene aren't there in the video). This is the first song to say "The meaning to this song... does exist". Most of the lyrics are censored by asterisks, but the rest of the text is readable.
Specifically, the lyrics censored with asterisks are sung, but displayed as asterisks. According to Owata-P, the lyrics make up a code. All of them are coded except the last four lines: "Toluene is a song of riddle-solving/Wordplay of time-wasting/When all of the meaning is known/What sort of face would you like?"
When it says it "has a meaning", does that mean, the long chemical theory description on Benzene and Nitrobenzene also has a meaning? Or does it mean, only the song Toluene has a meaning whilst everything else has no meaning? (Benzene, Nitrobenzene, Paradichlorobenzene, and Antichlorobenzene)
The "sixth" song of the Benzene Series. RX Benzene is not exactly a "new" song; it is a cover of the song "Benzene", with the vocals being Yowane Haku and Akita Neru. At first, the cover / mix of RX Benzene was originally sung by the utaite Ritsuka.
Owata-P mentioned in his description that on the year 2012, he didn't want to do anything, and he knew the reason why he didn't want to do anything; as said in his description. Oddly the song in the video on NND is said to be uploaded on 5:55, in Owata-P's mylist however, it is said that it's uploaded on 3:55.
Although the lyrics are somewhat the same to Benzene, the title of the song is different. For now it's unknown what RX stands for, but "Youjo Kei Sennsou Songu", is a different type of brainwashing song which somewhat makes this song independent and, in a way, different from Benzene, which is a therapeutic brainwashing song.
The song started similarly like Benzene, where an explanation to what "Benzene" is displayed, and the song continues saying "it has no meaning", much like Benzene itself.
All the songs have questioned "is there a meaning to this song" and stated "the meaning of this verse is—" at least once. "Benzene" and "Nitrobenzene" said there is no meaning to the verse, "Paradichlorobenzene" said the meaning to this verse is 'benzene', "Antichlorobenzene" said nothing, and "Toluene" said that there is a meaning to the verse: no song has yet to claim a meaning to the song
The songs were uploaded yearly until 2012; as of "Paradichlorobenzene", they were uploaded at the same month, day, hour, and second.
All the songs (aside from the non-existent 'antichlorobenzene') are named after chemical compounds derived from benzene. In other words, none of the compounds can be made without Benzene.
All the songs except for "Toluene" have a reference or similar melody to previous songs. For example, in the beginning of "Antichlorobenzene", the melody of "Paradichlorobenzene" can be heard.
There are many references to chemistry in the videos by Mieno-hito and Agatha. For example, the flying words in the videos for "Paradichlorobenzene", "Antichlorobenzene", and "Toluene" represent molecules.
In organic chemistry, "R" denotes an Alkyl side chain, and "X" indicates a Halide functional group (any compound with a halogen in it, such as Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, or Iodine, chlorine apparently being an element in paradichlorobenzene.)
A popular interpretation to "Paradichlorobenzene" within the fandom is the fact that one of the uses of paradichlorobenzene is to kill or ward off moths. Many have interpreted that moth balls may have a connection the composer mothy.
With this interpretation, it could even be said that Owata-P's role in the song is "Len's" role: the "people who laugh" are the fans who compare the two producers.