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.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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.......
  4. Ai Otsuka – Kurage, Nagareboshi With stunning cover arts, anniversary goodies, and great music you will really want to take a gander at Kurage, Nagareboshi.......
  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 }

sakuranbo June 9, 2007 at 8:07 pm

i have to say “planetarium” is one of the best song ever XD~!!!i luff this song~!so simple and innocent^ ^


Chee Muaj May 29, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Gosh i love this song i listen to it every morning Because the will wake me up lol. it brighten my day…..


Ai_fanatic May 28, 2007 at 2:30 am

I love this song !!!! Everytime I hear it…I was like floating in space !!!


Luv_Ai May 18, 2007 at 1:40 am

I love this song very much and I think this song is smooth and PV is very beutiful too. I love Ai.


Kurakio May 16, 2007 at 11:44 pm

I really like this song. It is smooth and beautiful, but not better than Chu Lip. But Ai has suprised us with another AWESOME song that keeps us listening.
And she is so Kawaii =)


Charee May 15, 2007 at 3:01 am

the song was great! and her voice is just right to relieve my problems everytime I hear it…..and keep up the good work!!!



pEaChy PHILIPPINES May 13, 2007 at 11:25 pm

i reaLLy Love the song!… ‘kawaii’ =)


maricel May 13, 2007 at 10:33 am

i like the song very much..
keep up the good work…

God bless


xindly May 12, 2007 at 8:36 am

hi..txs for uploading the song..hve been looking for so long..the hano yori dango drama r great and awesome…txs alot…god bless (^_^)


ljcb May 10, 2007 at 8:11 am

i lyk this song.. it is very fun to hear!


jEsSiCa May 8, 2007 at 9:00 am

i love this song coz its very good to hear like u want to hear it every minute!!!
i first heard it in hyd1 when matsujun and inoue was trap in a elevator and it kinda touched me bcoz i’ve heard a few songs of otsuka but planetarium is the best among her songs!!
i wish ur album can be sell in our country bcoz i wanna hear it!! i’m addicted to ur song planetarium!!! i love planetarium!!! pls sing it live so we can hear ur voice live!!
i’m always watching japanese channel in our tv and i’m hoping one day i’ll see u in one of the channels there singing planetarium!!!! keep it up!!! we’ll suppert u along ur journey to stardom!!!


juju May 8, 2007 at 8:50 am

so cute..! got hooked..

i love the song..
i love matsujun..
haha.. =p


toxic shawie AUSTRALIA May 7, 2007 at 10:13 pm

love i love it so much!!!


Yuuki May 6, 2007 at 5:44 am

SUGOI!!!!!!! i really love planetarium….actually at first i thought it was boring, but as i listened to it its getting captivating to your ears!! And besides i really love Hana Yori Dango, i first heard this song there.

about drops, hmmm….not that good to me. its an ok song. tahst all i can say….

GO OTSUKA AI!!!!! wahaahhahah!!!!


nikki_seo! May 4, 2007 at 5:06 am

this song did touched my feelings deeply. . . it really speaks of xumthing deep inside us, xumthing which we secretly adored, loved or simply xumthing we hide, lyk feelings or emotions. . . wat should i say., i really love it! kawaii na, ai-chan!”,


samie April 28, 2007 at 5:34 am

hi guys! samie here from the philippines.. just wanna say how i like the song.. i would be more in loved if only i know the meaning of all the words.. that’s why i got so interested with the japanese language! cool!!!


theresa m. elma PHILIPPINES April 27, 2007 at 9:38 pm

thank you for having this in your site… i love this song so much!


leah UNITED STATES April 9, 2007 at 9:19 am

your song rock!!!!!!!!!!!!

oll your song are cool but i like planetarium best!

seeya l8er!



jenny MALAYSIA March 18, 2007 at 4:38 am

sry is see not so!!


jenny MALAYSIA March 18, 2007 at 4:33 am

wow!! this song is nice!! and she pretty too!!

btw thx for leting me so this!!!


TunerZ no onee March 16, 2007 at 2:30 am

my little bro, hean-gun, loved this song…it even made him had a cush to ai-chin!hehe


Jessica CANADA March 3, 2007 at 12:41 pm

heyy love this song i think is soo kawaii



DjRaizer PHILIPPINES February 26, 2007 at 7:09 am

i heard the song YUMEKEI its nice! i hope someday i have cd of ai otsuka platinum! .. i hope so!


RyanSison PHILIPPINES February 24, 2007 at 12:37 pm

since the first time i heard planetarium by ai otsuka she became one of my favorite artist.. i became much emotional because of this song..


Chee Sheng Leong January 29, 2007 at 6:43 pm

I’ve been looking for this song for months! Thanks for blogging! I’ve been reading your blogs for the last couple of months, and I really like your reviews.
Thanks for everything! Keep up the great blogging!


Miku January 11, 2007 at 8:07 pm

wvwn though i don’t like ai otsuka so much..
this song makes me cry everytime i hear it T_T


ayamin UNITED STATES December 27, 2006 at 10:27 pm

Thank you so much for the mp3! I’ve been looking for that song EVERYWHERE, and after watching Hana Yori Dango drama…I wanted it even MORE! Thank you, again!


Ryoko December 21, 2006 at 4:28 am

I am the biggest fan of Ai Otsuka.Well…the song was not bad….but it’s seems i like the song.Thank’s for the mp3.Arigatogosaimasu…


Sheng UNITED STATES December 20, 2006 at 12:37 am

i love oguri shun!!!!! and i love matsumoto jun!!!!! i love this song! Arigatougozaimashita!


May Bhell December 6, 2006 at 9:04 am

i heard her song first on the series Hana Yori. when i heard the i just couldn’t get out of the song it was so nice i fell inlove in the song.. i wish she could sing it in english. the video is nice too..japanese singers rocks \m/keep it up!


Stephanie UNITED STATES October 12, 2006 at 11:25 pm

I Love this song!! thanks for putting it up. i was looking for it. I love this song and hana yori dango. she has a beautiful voice


Jenny October 1, 2006 at 11:21 pm

I absolutely love this song. Her voice sounds really beautiful and fit so well with the music.


Katie UNITED STATES September 16, 2006 at 11:47 pm

I can’t believe I’ve never heard this song before today! It is so beautiful! It really does sound almost angelic. I absolutely love it! Have a good one!


gokusingket July 8, 2006 at 11:45 am

: i really love this song..

: i love matsujun..

: and i really loved watching HYD…


Kimiko UNITED STATES June 30, 2006 at 10:16 am

I love this song so so much. I liked it when I first heard it. I found out about Ai Otsuka when i fist heard the song SMILY. I like this song better though.


shirley MALAYSIA June 15, 2006 at 8:06 am

i am from malaysia
i did not pay much attention to this song when its first release
until i watch hana yori dango, i started to like this song so much.
ai has presented this song well.!


Joanne June 6, 2006 at 5:26 am

I realli like ur song..
You r a realli good singer…
I also like the movie “Hana Yori Dango”. . .
I had watched it over 5 times. . . .
And you song had been appearing in it all the time and when it’s supposed to. . .
My fave character is Makino. . .
Rui is also cool
Once again I realli like you song!


Ella UNITED STATES May 28, 2006 at 9:19 pm

I LOVE this song. Planetarium sounds like an angel singing in heaven… Her voice sounds heavenly…


kirin MALAYSIA May 18, 2006 at 9:51 am

i love this song…
i don’t know the meaning of this song..
but now…
when i know the meaning……..
i really….really…really..really..really..really..really..!
love this song…!!!


Koharu MALAYSIA May 6, 2006 at 11:41 am

woooaaaaa~~~ at last i found this song.. *happy* ^^ i watched hana yori dango too.. n this song is keep playing in the movie.. it’s so nice n a bit sad tho… n i nv know wat’s da title.. =P hehehe i found it.. lucky ^^


kylagurl April 11, 2006 at 3:00 am

woah woah! I LURRRVVVEEE THIS SONG! XD! I watched hana yori dango cos it’s so nice and i really love the song! Thanks so much for putting this up and giving such a great review on the song itself! This is so nice! it feels oriental and I can’t stop wowing at the way the song flows with the scenes in hana yori dango. It’s like they complement each other so much!


Fadzli MALAYSIA March 28, 2006 at 11:28 am

im from malaysia.
i like this song very much…


Sandy UNITED STATES March 15, 2006 at 12:03 am

Wow, yes! I was looking for this song after watching Hana Yori Dango…
Thank you so much for the download and now I can listen it all the time ;)


Minnie UNITED KINGDOM February 27, 2006 at 3:26 pm

I really like this song and Hana Yori Dango is well kool ^.^ So happy! Your writing is also very good, almost draws a pretty picture :) I think i better now stop before I babble on hehe…


gin-chan November 26, 2005 at 8:39 pm

my sister actually asked to look for this, since she heard it from Hana Yori Dango, but when i actually listened to it, i found out that it’s a really good song. thanks for the mp3. ^^


Joan UNITED STATES November 24, 2005 at 11:44 pm

I first heard this song on Hana Yori Dango live and I quickly fell in love with it. I frantically searched all of these forums and the web to try to find out the title of the song. Once I did, I got it and have been listening to it since! Great song!


Aprilis November 14, 2005 at 3:00 pm

I don’t know how I have managed to miss this blog! But I am glad I managed to find it. Great review and it gave a really great insight of the two songs.

The way you described PLANETARIUM was just beautiful. As I read thru your description of the introduction my mind began to recall it and before I knew it, I was playing PLANETARIUM in my head. The way you described the use of each instrument was so moving! But I got to wonder, if what you wrote (about the introduction and instrument) would have the same effect if I had never heard the song. I’m guessing probably not.

I think what really drew me to PLANETARIUM is Ai’s choice of Japanese instruments. I have always loved the way classical instruments and pop music worked together (much like Ayu’s Voyage). And the lyrics to the song are really nice too! I love stars, and all star related things. When I found out this single is call PLANETARIUM I was absolutely thrilled; and I’m glad to say that Ai didn’t let me down.

I have never really grown onto drop. It’s an upbeat song and even though it’s the opposite of PLANETARIUM in so many ways, I think these 2 tracks really go well together on this single. I still haven’t looked up the lyrics for this song, so I can’t comment about that at the moment.


Akiramike October 8, 2005 at 6:31 am

Thanks for the mp3! IMO Otsuka Ai’s ballads have been really good.


Rinoa October 8, 2005 at 2:41 am

I am really happy to see this review up. I seriously thought that it would never happen at a given moment. Anyhow this review is perfect. The concepts have all been covered leaving no single detail out. Excellent.

This single really deserved a review. I do hope that this article manages to attract more and more Ai enthusiasts because I seriously do think she does have a lot of potential.

I really do hope you keep on writing reviews for the other singles of Ai. You have a knack to sense and capture the emotion from a song which is rather good. So I hope to read another article written by you in the near future.


Leanne UNITED STATES October 7, 2005 at 11:03 pm

Okay, here we go: :D

First off, this review blew my socks off okay, that’s better than rocking socks off.

I really enjoy the simple beginning of “PLANETARIUM”. I like the breathings, sort of like ayu’s HEAVEN breathing. Maybe this is an incurring trend in JPop? I really enjoy the feel of the song, although it’s not as emotional as say, “kingyo hanabi” or “daisuki da yo.”, but it’s still a pleasant listen.

At first, “drop.” kinda reminded me of a Spitz (folk-rock band) song. Yes, it’s very folky~ But, unlike PLANETARIUM, it’s somewhat catchy. It’s an okay song, but b-sides aren’t usually spectacular, anyway (exception=ayu’s Will.)

Woot~ GREAT JOB eyn, can’t wait to read more from you~

Leanne :D


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: