This one is a rare find. You were probably aware that Chiisana Hoshi was released as a single in 2006, and you might have been aware that it was one of her indies songs released on vol.best, but did you know that there’s a third non-live version? Look again at the 2006 single: the last track is this “oyasumi” version. This version appears to serve as the hikigatari version of the single; whereas her later singles featured instrumental versions, her first five singles featured hikigatari versions.
It certainly lives up to its name. Her soft singing and heavy reverberation of the accompaniment really makes it sound like a lullaby. Her vocalization at the interlude and at the end is a nice touch.
This version reminds me a lot of one of her indies song, Waratta Kazu / 笑った数. I’m not surprised, though, since Chiisana Hoshi was originally an indies song, and this version was released close enough to her major debut that her indies era still had a great influence on her style.
Comparing it to the other versions, although I like this version, I still prefer the original indies version; it strikes a nice balance between this version and the single version. All the reverberation in this version can be a bit difficult to get through sometimes, and I feel the single version loses some of the feeling of the original in its arrangement.
While coming up with things to say in this post, I accidentally wrote a translation (apparently in less time than the rest of the post). I haven’t checked it for any idioms and less obvious subtleties, but I think it’s clean enough to post. My translation notes are available.
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.
I think this is honestly one of the most adorable songs I’ve ever heard. I also think Oku Hanako’s voice is just perfect for this song. When I’m feeling down, this is a song I sometimes play to feel better (after a whole bunch of sad songs though, haha).
A particle marking indicating the means by which to do the action
ite / いて
te / て form of iru / いる (“to be” for animate beings). The te / て form makes this a request.
ne / ね
A particle that adds (light) emphasis.
The ne / ね is lost in translation, however, it need not be. You could translate the title as “Take Care, Okay?” to make the ne / ね explicit.
Today is Oku Hanako’s birthday! She turns 39 today. Because of time zones, the day is already mostly over for them in Japan.
The song I picked for today is a song of inspiration and perfectly says what I want to say to her this year: “Do your best, take a step forwards so you don’t regret doing nothing, and take care this year.” Genki de Ite ne was first released as the second-last track on Utakata / うたかた in 2010, and the seven years since then have been quite a journey for her. We have a translation of the lyrics from Edward today, and as always, make sure you read his translation notes.
This song has also been on a bit of a journey: at least two other notable versions of this song have appeared in her releases. The first is the 2012 acoustic version included as the second-last track on the Ai no Uta disc of her “Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-” compilation. The second is an a cappella live version included with her “CONCERT TOUR ’12 Hikigatari ~5th Letter~” DVD release. These two versions are considerably more mellow than the original. The version I’m featuring today is the original upbeat pop-style version.
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”.
“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
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.
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.