by spellcheck on September 4, 2005 · 2 comments · AddThis

Kizuna cover 1. Kizuna
2. SOI SOOSU no Theme
3. Ho Ho Ho
4. Kizuna ~Acoustic Ver.~

ORANGE RANGE’s 12th single “Kizuna” came out on August 24, 2005. The single shot straight up to the number one position on the Oricon charts and sales have been pretty good so far. Many fans have compared this single to their previous hit ballad “Hana” which was released in October last year. On the cover a swing set is shown and the symbol of the band is drawn in the dirt. The picture is in black and white and gives it more of a nostalgic feel. The CD design and the back of the sleeve feature little doodles of stick men with parachutes being eaten by alligators and struck by lightning and a game of tic-tac-toe won by the O’s. No doubt about it, “Kizuna” is about friends and remembering the good times, so grab your warm and fuzzy childhood memories and let’s go!


1. Kizuna

I agree with everyone else: if you liked “Hana”, you’ll like this song. The song starts off calmly and gently with HIROKI singing with a piano accompaniment. The arrangement of the whole song is very beautiful, combining rock instruments and strings in classic ORANGE RANGE fashion. This song also features traditional Japanese musical instruments and I think they fit well with the song. They don’t dumb it down or make it boring, but they also don’t overpower it and take focus away from other things that are happening. They really aid in creating a reminiscent feeling and I don’t think the song would be the same without them. The gentle swells of emotion that the strings provide in the chorus put tears in my eyes! (I really love ballads, ok?) This beautiful song glides along wonderfully and you may even get a few goosebumps, but once the rap begins, everything just kind of hits the wall. Now, I have listened to ORANGE RANGE songs before, I do actually own “musiQ” and it’s one of my favorite albums, but the way RYO raps just kind of drives me crazy. His heavy breathing, no, gasping, is distracting and takes away from the quality of the song. It sounds like they recorded his part while he was running on a treadmill, sealed in a giant airtight piece of Tupperware and he was dying from lack of oxygen. My friend has heard this song a few times, and she can’t even listen to the whole rap without laughing. Come on, this is the climax of the song! This is the best part! Please don’t ruin it with that breathing. After the rap is killed by me with a spear, a very large knife and a hand grenade or two, we’re finally taken back to the original piano that we started off with. Thank you, I can calm down now. What a relief. If you can somehow manage to completely block the rap out of your head and focus on the rest of the song, it is definitely one of the most beautiful ballads I’ve ever heard.

Rating: ★★★★½


2. SOI SOOSU no Theme

This song is about soy sauce. The chorus screams “SOI SOI, SOI SOI, SOI SOI, SOI SOI” at lightning fast speed over and over again and—wait, what? Soy sauce? This song reminds me of another ORANGE RANGE song that I’ve heard before called “Full Throttle”. It’s the kind of song that starts out in a quick and tense manner, goes completely out of control and then just kind of…stops. I don’t really know how to describe this song other than with the word “chaos”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t get ORANGE RANGE’s sense of humor or hate songs like that. When I heard Otsuka Ai’s “PON PON” for the first time I felt a little giddy, but this song just doesn’t do it for me. I’m sure somewhere in Japan a bored 10-year old is listening to it and going nuts with hyperactive excitement. This song should probably make me want to celebrate soy sauce, eat something with soy sauce on it or maybe even drink a bottle of soy sauce, but no. Now I want to go to the grocery store and smash all the bottles of soy sauce.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


3. Ho Ho Ho

Thank God, a calming song. I was about to go crazy and tear my eyeballs out with all of that “SOI” action but this acoustic-sounding song saved my sanity and probably my eyesight as well. This is a pretty ok song. No, it is not a Christmas carol, and no, Santa is not coming, in case that’s what you were wondering by the title. It sounds like one of those songs where everyone sits in a big circle on a beach and sings a song about brotherhood or something by the light of a bon fire. I can support this thought with the fact that you can hear waves rolling in and out throughout the song. It’s not bad, but it’s not totally awesome either. It’s somewhat boring. Maybe it was just here to help the listener chill out a little after that soy sauce disaster, and I appreciate that because I value my eyesight and would like to use my eyes to look at the pretty single cover.

Rating: ★★★★☆


4. Kizuna ~Acoustic Ver.~

I’m so glad ORANGE RANGE gave us an acoustic version of “Kizuna”. Instead of the piano, the acoustic guitar is featured in the beginning and added in the first verse. Strings and the traditional Japanese instruments are still present in this version, which is very good. Oh my, what’s this? YAMATO’s part seems to have changed to something more musical than his monotonous chanting like in the original version. Could this mean that RYO’s rap was changed or scrapped all together as well?! Well, much to my disappointment, it was left in in its original form. It doesn’t even sound like it was re-recorded so he could say it more calmly. Come on boys, you’re breaking my heart. There’s also some sort of shouting in the background throughout this version. I don’t know what they’re saying or why, but it kind of takes away from the seriousness and calm nature that I think this acoustic version has. I also think the backup vocals in the chorus should have been taken out because now they clash somewhat with the melody. I suppose this version is all right when you focus mostly on the background music but I prefer the original much more.

Rating: ★★★★☆


Holy crap. This whole single gave me more mood swings than I experience in a month and I’m a girl. Going from feeling calm but emotional from the beauty of “Kizuna” to disbelief to confusion to annoyance to more confusion to relaxation to happiness to disappointment took its toll on me. I do think this whole single overall could have been a lot better because I’ve seen them doing an awesome job on albums like “musiQ”. “Kizuna” is a wonderful song, as was the acoustic version and “Ho Ho Ho”, but I think it’s safe to assume that you won’t be saying “SOI SOOSU no Theme” on any of my playlists anytime soon. In spite of that, I don’t really regret buying this single at all. I’d definitely buy it again just for “Kizuna”. So what if the b-side sucked. It’s all about the a-side and as long as that’s good, that’s all that matters, right?

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Naru UNITED STATES July 25, 2006 at 1:49 am

I am not a big fan of ORANGE RANGE. However this song ended up being one of my favorite songs ever. It might also be because I am a fan of the book “Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu” which their song “Hana” was used as the theme for and now “Kizuna” was used as the theme for the J-drama. But Kizuna, like the J-Drama version of “Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu” is slower and is more dramatic. “Hana”, while good is faster and more like a dramatic pop song. “Kizuna” is just a beautiful ballad. PLUS I am sucker for traditinal Japanese intruments used in J-Pop xD RYO’s rap bothered me at first too. But then after oh, about the 5th or 10th time I noticed it added drama to the song. That his breathy and loud rap makes it more of a sad climax,and then the song slowly flows to an end…
This is a Otsuka Ai website-”Kingyo Hanabi” and “Planeterium” are like…two of the most beautiful J-Pop songs ever! I don’t care what any “eeeeeeeeeeww Otsuka Ai sucks!” people say.
PS- “Kizuna” is like an adult version of “Michishirube~a road way home”.


eyn CANADA September 22, 2005 at 4:12 pm

First of all, I really like the cover of this single. It looks great and I like monochrome cover for some reason (if they are well designed).

I actually enjoyed Kizuna when I kinda hated ORANGE RANGE due to their overrated popularity. I don’t see what’s so interesting in their other songs, but Kizuna sounds pretty decent to me. Thank you for letting me know their song is actually quite nice without excessive rapping.

The b-side, SOI SOOSU no Theme, is definitely not for me. It kinda breaks the good impression that Kizuna has created for me. -.-


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