Garnet cover (crop)

Garnet / ガーネット

Garnet / GAANETTO / ガーネット: “Garnet“, as in the birthstone.

In two days, Thoughts on Oku Hanako will celebrate its one year anniversary. If my records are correct, on July 20, I claimed the address I figured it’d be appropriate to post the first song ever posted on this blog, which also happens to be the song that started it all for me (depending on how you look at it), and therefore the indirect reason why this blog exists.

Garnet: the credits song and main theme song of the anime movie Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo / 時をかける少女[jp] (English title: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Often abbreviated as to “tokikake”). The music video features the hikigatari version, but the version that can be heard in the credits is this arranged version. This is the song that really made Oku Hanako famous because of its inclusion in the movie.

After reading an interview last September, I realized why the song is called “Garnet”; after all, the word GAANETTO / ガーネット is never mentioned in the song. The title refers to the birthstone of January. As the poem says:

By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.

It’s a very fitting title as the song speaks of love from a friend. (A translation is available)

【時をかける少女】ガーネット by hamut3939 [YouTube]

I used to find the arrangement of this song to be distracting and unnecessary, and in some ways I still do. However, I have learned to appreciate it.

As for the blog, I still have pages “under construction”…. I really have to get around to doing those.

Lyrics →

"The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" promotional poster

Kawaranai Mono / 変わらないもの

Kawaranai Mono / 変わらないもの : “Unchanging things”

kawaranai / 変わらない
“Unchanging”. This is the negative from the verb kawaru / 変わる, “to change”.
mono / もの

Kawaranai Mono is my favourite out of all Oku Hanako’s songs. It is the insert song for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and it is the first song of hers that you hear in that movie.

Both “Kawaranai Mono” and “Garnet / ガーネット” were released on her 2006 single, “Garnet“.

Kawaranai Mono by AnimeSoundUploader [YouTube]

Listen carefully. Do you hear that sound at the end of the second verse (just after 2:25)? Yes, that’s a horn (I think)! I hadn’t realized that it was a horn for about 10 months. I’m somewhat partial to horns because of Peter Cetera and Chicago, who is known for using lots of horns.
Oku Hanako has played the trumpet since age 9 for school, and she still plays it.

Lyrics →

Makoto in a still-frame from "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"

Garnet (Hikigatari) / ガーネット(弾き語り)

Garnet / GAANETTO / ガーネット: Transliteration of “garnet“, the January birthstone

Garnet / ガーネット(弾き語り) is the theme song for the 2006 Madhouse movie The Girl Who Leapt Through Time / Toki o Kakeru Shoujo / 時をかける少女 (official site[jp]). I won’t go too much into the movie (I’ll save that for another post), but it’s about a girl named Makoto who gains the ability to “leap” through time, which she uses carelessly until she finds out the consequences. She also falls in love with a boy, Chiaki, and complications arise towards the end of the movie. “Garnet” is about Makoto’s feelings towards Chiaki.

“Garnet” is the song that made her famous, and I’d say most people who listen to her music started with this song; this holds true at least for the Westerners, if not also for the Japanese.

By the way, the word hikigatari / 弾き語り means that it’s just her and her piano; according to the J-talk translator, it means “singing to one’s own accompaniment”.

奥 華子/ガーネット(弾き語り) by ponycanyon [YouTube]

Don’t ask me why she’s sleeping in a piano; I didn’t make the video.

“Garnet” is a beautiful song and you can expect more like this from her. I’d say it’s one of her representative hikigatari works. I remember watching the movie and being in awe at even just the first few notes. When she started singing, wow! I was speechless; I knew I had heard something special.

I’m not into anime, but I’ll recommend “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, for the music if not also for the story.

EDIT 2013-09-14: At first, the title of the song may not seem to relate to the song. After reading an interview, I realized that it actually fits quite nicely. Garnet is the birthstone of January and it symbolizes constancy, true friendship, and fidelity.

For those of you who aren’t really into hikigatari piano (I’m looking at you, Solarblade), don’t worry: she has some really good arranged works, too. I’ll be posting some, so watch for them!

Lyrics →