Ai Otsuka – Planetarium

by eyn on October 7, 2005 · 76 comments · AddThis

Planetarium promo Planetarium
Released Date: 2005.09.21
Debut Ranking: #1
Label: avex trax
Product Code: AVCD-30769
First Press: Special packaging

Ai Otsuka’s 10th single, “Planetarium”, was released on 2005.09.21. “Planetarium” gained the first place on the Oricon daily single charts on its first day of release. This single also managed to achieve the top position on the Oricon weekly single charts, having more than 121,000 copies sold so far.

This is Ai’s first ballad single that has achieved such excellent results, which is quite a feat. As most die-hard fans of Ai know, her ballads usually sell poorly compared to her upbeat singles, such as “Sakuranbo” and “SMILY”. I do believe that the success of “Planetarium” is a positive sign that Ai Otsuka is gaining her fame rapidly due to her recently released DVD drama, Tokyo Friends, for which the sequel movie will be shown in theatres next year; her radio show, Otsuka Ai no ai-r Jack; and last but not least, her talents as an artist. Ai composes and writes lyrics for all of her songs and also has excellent piano playing skills.

Planetarium will be used as the image song of upcoming Japanese drama, Hana yori Dango, based on a manga drawn by Kamio Yoko. Further information can be found here. The b-side track, “drop.” was used as the commercial song for Shokubutsu Herb Blend.


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1. Planetarium

The track starts off with traditional Japanese instruments which create a rather soothing and melancholic atmosphere. Japanese drums are first heard followed by piano and Japanese flute accompaniment, which set in shortly after. Ai’s soft and emotional vocals flow perfectly, blending with the backing instrumentals. The ethereal background vocals were excellently implemented in some parts of the song, which gives the listener a “space-like” and void feel of floating endlessly in the dark skies.

iPod iPod version (0 MB)

This song has every element a ballad should have: a beautiful melody, deep and meaningful lyrics and wonderful piano instrumental as background music. What I probably enjoy the most is the Japanese flute used in the accompaniment; it truly brings out the Japanese feel of the whole song. There’s one “out of place” guitar solo that connects one of the bridges in this song, however, the more one listens to it, the better it started to merge with the song. Weird eh? Indeed, such a genius music arrangement is to be expected from our dearest Ai-chin!

Rating: ★★★★★


2. drop.

The intro of this song is very “genki”, featuring an upbeat solo of electrical guitar and drum sets. Nonetheless, “drop.” is more of a mid-tempo song with upbeat elements in the background instrumentals. Some people may find the feel of this track rather country-like, but I found it to be more striking than the typical country music. The chorus of this song is very catchy, the tempo and drum beats make you feel like dancing and humming along with the song. The background music is rather simple; basically there’s drum set, electrical guitar/bass and that’s about it. I kinda like the arrangement of the bridge of this song, making this track a rather unique and interesting country-styled track with a twist. Overall, this song has a very simple and catchy melody, which might be repetitive at times, but will still manage to bring out any happy feelings within the listener without any doubt.

Rating: ★★★½☆


Conclusion: This single is definitely worth buying for any Ai fan. It’s an excellent package of two extremely unique songs with stunning arrangements. Ai has cleverly managed to create two tracks with opposing emotions and a catchy tune. Nonetheless this single is worth its price, not only because of the excellent and original tracks which are recorded within the single, but also because of the special packaging available with the first press edition. For those Ai Otsuka newbies, I highly recommend you to get this single while the first press is still available. Ai’s entire single releases have had special first press versions, and the extras were always extremely rewarding for any Ai collector. If you haven’t gotten into Ai Otsuka’s music world, do give Planetarium a try and I shall wholeheartedly assure you will never regret the day that you did so.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½


Planetarium CD+DVD Planetarium CD
  1. Planetarium
  2. drop.
  3. Planetarium (Instrumental)
  4. drop. (Instrumental)

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

Related Posts:

  1. Ai Otsuka – Frienger “Frienger”, Ai Otsuka’s 11th single, was released on April 12, 2006, approximately 7 months after the release of her 10th hit single, “Planetarium“. For those of you who are curious about the title, “Frienger” is a word combining “friend” and “ranger”, which relates how a friend is like a ranger who will always fight for you whenever you’re in trouble.......
  2. Ai Otsuka – Momo no Hanabira Ai Otsuka had always been into the music since childhood. She started playing the piano when she was merely four years old. At the age of fifteen she began composing music and lyrics with the help of her piano teacher. By the time she was seventeen Ai-chin had already composed and written the lyrics for the songs "Always Together" and "Momo no Hanabira", which were dedicated to a friend of hers.......
  3. Ai Otsuka – PEACH/HEART PEACH/HEART” was released on July 25, 2007 and sold over 157,000 copies, placing its sales higher than “CHU-LIP”, Ai’s first single of the year.......
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  5. Ai Otsuka – Yumekui In August 2006, the highly anticipated movie of "Tokyo Friends" was shown in theatres and Ai Otsuka's 12th single was also released a few days prior. This single features two ballads which were heard in "Tokyo Friends", which will certainly attract a lot of attention.......

About the author

eyn is the geekmaster who spend his free time maintaining this blog, programming WordPress plugins and recruiting new writers who has a passion about J-Pop. His J-Pop goddess is Ai Otsuka but he also enjoys mihimaru GT, YUI and Jay Chou's music.

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Anime freak girl))) April 1, 2010 at 7:42 am

No words only tears!one of the most touching songs and wonderful just outstanding vocal!


Aotu FINLAND February 7, 2010 at 5:50 am

Hey! I Love Ai Otsuka!

Her music is amazing, and her voice ! ♥

Where I can get Piano notes of Planetarium? Plz, help me !


Chun June 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm

All Otsuka Ai’s Songs also very good!!!!i like hear her voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ai is very beautiful…..!!!!!!!!!And she is so clever and have a very beautiful smile !!
all the songs produced by herself ………!!!!!!!!
Listen and see her can let me feel very good!!!!!
I support her forever !!!!!!!!!!!!!


lucy September 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm

its cool i really like it !


sam August 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

i love this song!!!^^


dina INDONESIA July 15, 2008 at 3:27 am

honestly.. this is a sugoine uta.
n is there anyone know the translation of this song lyric?
i really need it..
thank u


por lieng UNITED STATES May 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

great song!!! i like it alot and so does every one!!!


vxyn May 17, 2008 at 5:04 am

i just liketo ask whare can i find the piano chords of planetarium?
pls tell me..i really want to know it..thank you


Michil May 5, 2008 at 11:38 pm

She is very beautiful songer


che che AUSTRALIA April 29, 2008 at 12:28 am

u can get a chord also in internet


Pochie April 28, 2008 at 7:33 am

I was wondering if you can tell me where to get the sheet music of this song in Piano. My niece would like to learn to play it.


nuradlina April 12, 2008 at 11:13 pm

gettin to know this song from hana yori dango…
keeping the good work always..


che che AUSTRALIA February 24, 2008 at 8:28 am

ai otsuka is really beautiful i like her face


Scout Lara Theresa Aguilar February 24, 2008 at 3:49 am

Hello!! I just wanna say thanks for making this song.. i am really glad that there has a melody like this one… if you hear this song, you will fall iin love with this…. thank you Ai otsuka!!!

Your fan

Lara Theresa


zaty MALAYSIA February 23, 2008 at 3:39 am

i love this song


che che AUSTRALIA February 9, 2008 at 12:11 am

hey there i like diz song and also d melody and all of japanese song
keep it up


kaSyah MALAYSIA February 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm

First time I heard this beautiful song from Hana Yori Dango Jdorama. I really love this song and Ai Otsuka.


Motorerica AUSTRALIA January 30, 2008 at 10:25 am

Otsuka Ai is sugoiiii!!!! hehe

i love her songs =]

planterium is soo peaceful and is a beautiful song to listen to !!!

Arrigatou gozaimashita Ai- san


nina January 30, 2008 at 3:18 am

hi! i liked the melody. im just curious with the lyrics. can anyone tell me what this song is about? or if there is an enlish translation? thanks!


winnie CANADA October 2, 2007 at 12:02 am

this song is sooo amazing!!! i cant stop listening to it…


gwendolyn venus September 8, 2007 at 11:17 am

I love this song so much that i even downloaded one for my favorite selection. I love the lyrics and the tune. The instumentalization of this song is so perfect. I’ve heard it from the TV series Hana yori dango and the first time i heard this song, i fell inlove with it. Hope there’ll be more artist like you Otsuka Ai. I’m from Philippines and you have my full support on your album. Good luck..


Tiu September 5, 2007 at 2:08 am

It’s a really good song. Do not need much time to decide. I like it since the first time i heard it.


NaTaShA AUSTRALIA August 11, 2007 at 3:47 am

I love this song…

The tune was great… the lyrics and everything…. were great…

This song relaxes me…. I listen to it before i sleep…

It makes you fall inlove…. he.,. he.,.

I just love it….


Moeko July 18, 2007 at 11:49 pm

i lyk this song because its in hana yori dangoxD


'lilah July 7, 2007 at 2:40 pm


thanks to this song that every time i listen to this, it gives me courage or strenghten me…

it makes you fall in LOVE once you heard this song…

so… “planetarium” good luck on your career…

i really, really, really like so much your song [ai otsuka] =>


mudrick INDONESIA June 21, 2007 at 5:29 am

it’s nice to listen to this song everyday
what a such an aesy listening song but beautiful
I’m from Indonesia
nice to join with all of you
maybe somebody can advice me another song of Otsuka Ai?
arrigatou gozaimazu


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