Chiisana Hoshi cover art (crop)

Chiisana Hoshi (Oyasumi version) / 小さな星(おやすみversion)

Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星 : “tiny star”

chiisana / (ちい)さな
“small”, “tiny”
hoshi / (ほし)
oyasumi / おやすみ
“good night”

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, 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.

小さな星(おやすみversion) [Nico Nico Douga]

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.

Lyrics →


Translation for Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話

Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話: “On the phone with you”

anata / あなた
to / と
denwa / (でん)()

It’s about time I’ve posted another translation. You like listening to this song on your morning commute, so here’s Daniel’s translation of Anata to Denwa.

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).

If you’re interested, Edward also has his own translation from the Chinese.

Lyrics →

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

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 →

Kimi no Hana / キミの花 single short MVs released

I’m going to save my thoughts for the actual release date (February 22), but for those who want to be teased a little, Pony Canyon released the short versions of the music videos and a 60-second digest PV of Oku Hanako’s upcoming double A-side single Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス yesterday.

I’ll start with the 60-second digest:

奥華子『キミの花/最後のキス』60秒ダイジェスト映像 by ponycanyon [YouTube]

Kimi no Hana / キミの花:

キミの花/奥華子(Short Ver.) by ponycanyon [YouTube]

And lastly, Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス:

最後のキス/奥華子(Short Ver.) by ponycanyon [YouTube]

Here’s hoping they release the full versions on the release date.

Track list for Kimi no Hana / キミの花

The track list for Oku Hanako’s upcoming single, Kimi no Hana / キミの花, was announced on Oku Hanako’s blog earlier this week! It turns out that it’ll be another double A-side single, with the other song being Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス (“Last Kiss”).

There will be two editions of this single: a Seiren edition and a regular edition. I wondered why the Seiren edition will be cheaper when it was first announced, and apparently it won’t have the third track.

Here’s the track list:

  1. Kimi no Hana / キミの花 (“Your Flower”)
  2. Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス (“Last Kiss”)
  3. Tsumiki / 積木 (“Building Blocks”)

Do any of these songs pop out at you? If you’re familiar with Oku-san’s more obscure works, Tsumiki / 積木 should. Tsumiki was released on Oku Hanako’s first indies release, the 2000 mini album Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく. The original was just her singing with a drum accompaniment. Later preformances purpotedly had a piano accompaniment. I predict this arrangement will have both, possibly with electric guitars. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing this one.

As for the main song, Kimi no Hana, we have the TV edit available to us. After all, it’s being used as the OP for Seiren.

Seiren OP[“Kimi no Hana (キミの花)” by Hanako Oku] by Rin Eleksra [YouTube]

The song is very unique in her discography. It’s the only song that I know of that is restricted to a rock band arrangement (keyboard, guitar, bass, drums). Like Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物 from her last single, it seems the keyboard is no longer the featured instrument.

There are translations on Lyrical Nonsense and Dreamsland Lyrics. There’s also a translation in GJH’s fansub release of the anime.

According to the Pony Canyon announcement, Saigo no Kiss will be like an opposite to Kimi no Hana. It will be a “broken heart” ballad with grand strings and dramatic heartfelt singing. I’m not sure what to make of that, but I’m looking forward to hearing it.

If I’ve interpreted this correctly, this cover art is only for the digital release of “TV size” release of Kimi no Hana, available on iTunes and Rekochoku:

Kimi no Hana (TV size) cover art

Kimi no Hana (TV size) cover art

If that’s the case, I expect the cover art for the February 22 release to come out in a few weeks.

Trump / トランプ

Trump / TORANPU / トランプ: “Playing Cards”

No, this has nothing to do with the current US presidential election.

My first encounter with Trump was while reading solarblade’s reviews back in 2013 or 2014. Piano ballads aren’t really his thing, so of course he found it was boring and said that it wasn’t really worth listening to. Unfortunately, having read his reviews, I listened to the song and, being influenced by his opinion at the time, also found it boring.

However, I listen to it now and I think it’s great, even if the lyrics are a bit painful. She also has a live version of this song on Cinderella, her 2012 single, which I think is just as good, if not better (and as usual, that will be posted eventually).

トランプ by ぐーちゃん [Nico Nico Douga]

I’ve included Edward’s translation below, but as always, you should go read his translation notes as well.

Lyrics →

Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物

Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物: “A Treasure Called Love”

ai / 愛
to / と
A particle used as a quotation
iu / いう
“to call” (a name), “to say”. Also written as 言う.
takaramono / 宝物

Oku Hanako’s new double A-side single, Omoide ni Nare/Ai to Iu Takaramono / 思い出になれ/愛という宝物 has been released!

Today, I have for you the only song that I could find out of the three songs on the single: the second of the two A-sides, Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物. It’s the CM song for the “2016 cross fm official GREEN campaign”.

愛という宝物 by yasutaka [Nico Nico Douga]

At first when I found a video for the song, I thought it was going to be one of those useless fan announcement videos (if you’re going to announce something by a music artist, at least use her music!); I was about to skip it when I heard her voice come in.

This song has a style that I’ve never heard before in any of her other songs, and yet I think it’s still distinctly hers. One of the things I notice about this song is all the voice layering: it’s not a new technique for her, but it seems to be done a lot more in this song; usually it’s restricted to just a certain section like the bridge or interlude. Sure I miss her old style, but I’m not complaining about this one. Overall, I think the style sounds very refined.

I can’t wait to hear the rest of the single!

Lyrics →