“Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night☆” released!

Oku Hanako’s newest video release, “Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night ☆” / 奥華子の弾き語りダークナイト☆, came out a few days ago on June 20! I don’t have much to add to the previous announcement post, other than the cover art:

Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night ☆ cover

I’m somewhat surprised they spelled “hikigatari” wrong. Sure, 語り is katari / かたり on its own, but when put after hiki / 弾き, rendaku applies, turning the ka / か into a ga / が.

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“Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night☆” announced for June 20

Oku Hanako is releasing a Blu-ray of the live event she had in Osaka on November 23, 2017. It will be called “Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night ☆” / 奥華子の弾き語りダークナイト☆, after the concert, and it will be released on June 20, 2018. There will be two editions: a limited edition restricted to PCSC (Pony Canyon Shopping Club) preorders, worth ¥5875, and a regular edition, worth ¥5000. Preorders for the special edition are being accepted until May 17. Details can be found on the Pony Canyon page for the release.

There’s no cover art yet, but Pony Canyon released a digest video on YouTube:


【LIVE】Blu-ray「奥華子の弾き語りダークナイト☆」ダイジェスト映像 by ponycanyon [YouTube]

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HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY — HANAKO OKU

Here’s a post by Denny while I work on mine. Stay tuned!

Denny Sinnoh

She is a great musician who stands alone in her field!

Birthday wishes going out today to “The Little Great One” — Hanako Oku born this day March 20th 1978.

This might be a tough one for her … She turns FORTY!

Ha. Age is just a number though, … at least I tell myself that.

Oh, of course there has to be a song. The song I would like to share for this special day is “Panorama no Kaze”.  This was from a live performance in 2008. It is one of the Oku ballads that always takes me there. (gulp)

Of course, she is a great artist in any decade.

Starlight: Wanna see my collection?

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Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou released!

Oku Hanako’s ninth album, titled Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou / 遥か遠くに見えていた今日 (“Today When I Could See Far in the Distance”), has been released! I missed posting all the status updates in the past month, so I’ll cover everything here.

The album comes in two editions: the regular edition and the limited edition. The limited edition comes with a DVD.

Here are the album covers:

Album art for "Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou (CD+DVD)

Album art (CD+DVD)


Album art for "Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou (CD only)

Album art (CD only)

The final track list:

  1. Rainy day
  2. Koi no Hajimari / 恋のはじまり (“Beginning of Love”)
  3. Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物 (“A Treasure Called Love”)
  4. Propose / PUROPŌZU / プロポーズ
  5. Kanojo / 彼女 (“Her”)
  6. 365 Nichi no Hanataba / 365日の花束 (“365-Day Bouquet”)
  7. Kimi no Hana / キミの花 (“Your Flower”)
  8. Honobono Ikou / ほのぼの行こう (“Let’s Go Warm the Heart”)
  9. Omoide ni Nare / 思い出になれ (“Become a Memory”)
  10. Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス (“Last Kiss”)
  11. Mail
  12. Ice Cream / AISU KURĪMU / アイスクリーム
  13. Stamp Rally / SUTANPU RARĪ / スタンプラリー
  14. Haruka Tooki ni / 遥か遠くに (“Towards the Distance”)

Already released in previous singles were “Ai to Iu Takaramono“, “Kimi no Hana“, “Omoide ni Nare”, and “Saigo no Kiss”. “Honobono Ikou” were previously released online. “Rainy Day” is a re-arrangement of her 2003 indies song. “Propose” is the CM song for a December 2016 MAST commercial.

More info and digest video →

Happy Birthday to “The Pancake House Girl” Hanako Oku!

I reblog Denny’s birthday wishes to Oku Hanako every year, and this year will be no different. Sure, I reblogged them in previous years because I forgot to make a post, but I didn’t forget this year! My post will go up in about 13 hours so that the post is dated “March 20”, but in the meantime, to make up for the time zone difference, here’s Denny wishing her a happy birthday.

Denny Sinnoh

Japan is twelve hours ahead of me, so Snivy and I wanted to be the first in my time zone to wish “the Little Great One” Ms. Hanako Oku-san a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow (today) on March 20! She is lucky — her Birthday is always the Spring Equinox.

Ms. Oku has always been one of my favorites. Of course, Snivy is a huge fan. The adorable and talented Ms. Oku has written the opening theme song “Kimi No Hana” for the romance anime “Seiren” currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

The marketing geniuses at the Pony Canyon record company have blocked any and all Hanako Oku music videos in Unova, so it is difficult for us to share the song over YourTube, or Twatter, or Glueggle +, etc.  One of these links might work however.

https://en.musicplayon.com/Hanako-Oku-Kimi-No-Hana-635494.html

http://www.jpopasia.com/hanakooku/videos/62181/kimi-no-hana-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%9F%E3%81%AE%E8%8A%B1/

It is a pretty good anime theme. A good anime theme always gets you…

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New album announced: Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou / 遥か遠くに見えていた今日

Pony Canyon announced today that Oku Hanako will be releasing a new album on May 17. Its title is Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou / 遥か遠くに見えていた今日 (“Today When I Could See Far in the Distance”). This will be her ninth album.

The album will have a total of 14 songs. These are the ones announced so far:

The first four of these are the A-sides of her most recent double A-side singles. “Propose” is a new CM song for MAST, which I expect to be distinct from the MAST jingle that she’s already known for. “Rainy Day” is one of her indies songs from 2003. Based on the article, I expect to hear an interesting arrangement, possibly with layered voices, but I really hope it doesn’t turn out like the new arrangement of Tsumiki / 積木.

In addition, the first orders will also have an accompanying DVD with music video clips for Kimi no Hana, Saigo no Kiss, “and others”.

Kimi no Hana / キミの花

Kimi no Hana / キミの花: “Your Flower”

kimi / キミ
“you”. Written out in katakana, possibly for stress (i.e. “your flower” as opposed to “your flower“)
no / の
A particle indicating possession. Roughly equivalent to “of”.
hana / 花
“flower”

Oku Hanako’s new double A-side single, Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス has been released!

I’ve taken a listen to the songs on the single and it seems to be a bit of a departure from her usual style. If you’ve heard the TV size version of Kimi no Hana from either Seiren or the short music videos, you’ll know that the song features the piano less prominently and takes on a more rock style. I’ll briefly discuss my opinion on the other two songs afterwards.

I was going to publish this post yesterday, but I figured you wouldn’t mind the wait if it were to provide a good translation. I found a translation by Nakari Amane, but it needed so much editing that I ended up just making my own. My translation is available below, and my translation notes are available. As this is my first complete translation of a song, any corrections are appreciated.

Here’s the music video:

HO – KnH by Aysohmay [Dailymotion]

I’m actually okay with this. I still prefer her older piano works wish she would do more of that style, but I don’t think I’d complain too much if we got more of this. Although it’s not prominent, if you listen closely, the piano is still an important part of the song, where instead of the piano being singled out as being the more important instrument (other than the part after the pre-chorus), it works together with the others to create a beautiful song. The more I listen to this song, the more I appreciate it.

More thoughts and lyrics →