Tsukiko Amano – Karasu

by Rinoa on July 3, 2006 · 6 comments · AddThis

Karasu Promotional Image Artist: Tsukiko Amano
Product Code: PCCA-70161
Release date: 2006.05.31
Oricon Ranking: #47
Label: Otokura
Distributor: Pony Canyon

Tsukiko Amano is a solo underground artist to the J-Rock music scene. Her style varies on the lines of alternative rock and her releases aren’t really considered huge hits. Nonetheless this artist still manages to release excellent and exciting material with haunting and dark melodies. Apart from being a singer, Tsukiko is a talented lyricist, guitarist and artist. Her style of art is very unique. She is mostly known for her theme songs for Fatal Frame II and III.

After not releasing anything since her fifth album, ‘A MOON CHILD IN THE SKY’, in September 2005, Tsukiko announced the release of five singles. To commemorate her 5th anniversity, Tsukiko released five singles simultaneously in one single day. They were all released on the 31st May. Each single featured a different style which she has used throughout her musical career. In the end all her promotional videos were meant to be connected. A red balloon can be seen through the videos Utakata and Karasu. Karasu was the first single to be released from the anniversary collection.


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.


Karasu is the first single released from the five anniversary singles created by Amano. This song carries a solid and strong rock genre which she has used in her releases in the past. It is reminiscent of old school rock from albums such as Sharon Stones and Meg Lion. However it still does have a fresh feel to it and contains a lot of driving energy within it. What makes this song so striking is the fact that the style is far from being mainstream and is quite unique. The use of the electric guitars especially give this song a lot of character and style. Tsukiko’s vocals contain a lot of attitude and are at her best in this song.

iPod iPod version (0 MB)

The promotional video’s symbology and use of colours was impressive and visually pleasing. Each promotional video leads to a door which opens to a different theme and setting per song, reflecting each year of her career. The use of contrasts is used well within this clip. Black, red and white are definately the defining colours within this clip. Tsukiko wears a black suit and creates a masculine and tough image of herself. We also experience the images of crows, since Karasu means crow or raven. On various occassions Tsukiko transforms into a multitude of crows in her bedroom. The use of white, mixed with black within her bedroom creates a very bleak image while the red seems to symbolise a more glamorous and frivolious side. This creates a pretty evident contrasting image.

An interesting fact to note is that her ’self’ from her Konton single makes an appearance within the promotional video and gives Tsukiko a suitcase containing a red deflated balloon.

Rating: ★★★★★


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.


Garasu or Glass, takes a completely different direction from Karasu. It stands out as a mellow and funky track in comparison with Karasu. The use of instruments sounds less intense and more electronic with hints of bass sounds. Tsukiko’s vocals are soothing and relaxing, in contrast with the previous song, perfectly fitting the funky atmosphere created. It doesn’t exactly strike out but it is the perfect song to listen to on a Saturday morning while driving. It’s a soothing and relaxing mid-tempo song with an elegant touch added to it which makes it quite enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★½



Overall I do feel this single was quite satisfactory despite of having only two tracks and no instrumentals. Tsukiko’s style is quite unique and this by itself makes her music quite attractive. In the end, the full package managed to be really good. Both songs managed to compliment each other, but not sound too similar. The cover art and the promotional video were simple but well produced to create the perfect atmosphere for both songs. Despite having less promotion and tie-ins than most well known artists and a lower budget, this single still managed to come out as being one full of quality and symbolism.

From all the five singles, Karasu has managed to strike out and come out as her strongest single due to the powerful tracks and her assertive image. Tsukiko Amano is definately a talented artist which hopefully shall keep releasing quality material in the near future.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★


Karasu Cover

1. Karasu
2. Garasu

Related Posts:

  1. OLIVIA’s Wish "Wish/Starless Night" is Olivia's second and last NANA single. This single was announced in August, after it was decided that Olivia would sing both the opening and the ending theme songs for the second season of NANA. Thus avex announced the release of a double A-side single.......
  2. OLIVIA – a little pain Indies princess, OLIVIA released her first single since her hiatus in 2004 titled 'a little pain'. After such a long hiatus, Olivia Lufkin returned back with an excellent single and managed to gain the attention of Japan again.......
  3. Gackt – Saikai~Story~ After debuting successfully as a soloist, former lead singer of Malice Mizer and songwriter/singer Gackt returned with a summer single on August 1st, 2000. Saikai~Story~ was originally featured in the Mizerable mini album as an instrumental song, which Gackt later wrote the lyrics for.......
  4. COUNTDOWN: are you in? After only reuniting with L'Arc~en~Ciel for two years, HYDE returns to us with "COUNTDOWN" a hard rock number being used as the Japanese theme song to the movie "STEALTH" (staring Jamie Foxx) and lyrics crying out for peace., Let's review!......
  5. Shared Time I will call Locofrank as Japanese Greenday, but I am sure they not gonna release any song like Japanese Idiot. Those who love Greenday should give Locofrank a try, I know you will love their songs.........

About the author

Rinoa enjoys spending her free time writing articles, most particularly reviews, biographies and news articles. Her favourite artist is Ayumi Hamasaki but she enjoys listening to a wide range of musical talents from all over the world.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

LUCIANO EMANUEL RIOS September 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm




myk AUSTRALIA September 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm

i never 4get this songs
it always sooths me and comforts me in my problems tjnx in posting yohh!


myk AUSTRALIA September 2, 2009 at 11:48 pm

wow the karasu is so great i love it and all of tsukiko amano;s songs!!!
and i love her so much!!
anyone complain on it?!


yukino UNITED STATES August 17, 2006 at 9:13 pm

Great job, Rinoa! Hmm, Tsukiko Amano. Before this, I’d only heard two of her songs – Koe and another, the name of which has slipped my mind – and, sad to say, I wasn’t impressed. But this single has changed my mind! Karasu has an awesome powerful melody, and the guitar is simply MASTERFUL (electric guitar fan here *boogie*).

The track that surprised me most, however, was GARASU. Wow, I never expected to hear her sing this kind of song! Before, Tsukiko’s music always struck me as very hard rock, with a traditional edge. But Garasu… funk? Relaxing? o_O My first thought upon hearing it was, ‘Her voice is so much nicer than I thought!’ (xD.)

I think I’ll check out her other singles! Thanks for changing my opinion on her!


Leanne UNITED STATES August 2, 2006 at 1:50 am

I haven’t really been active in the JPop scene lately — not to mention it’s really spectacular underground scene! Like Anna above, I’ve heard her name before, but have never listened to her music. It’s quite nice to here some female artists with some attitude. ;) Her voice isn’t unique, I swear I’ve heard it somewhere before, but I really like the music anyway. I like the background melody of “KARASU”, reminds me of stuff from the early-90s. The song itself isn’t groundbreaking, but I suppose the energy she gives out really drew me in. Pretty cool!

GARASU for me was only okay. Again, it sounds like something I’ve heard before, even though I can’t remember the artist right this second. Her vocals are pretty nice, though. It sounds kinda old-school. XD Anway, it’s still good.

I think I’ll actually go listen to some other thinks from Amano to make a firm opinion, but I think she has some potential! Thanks for the review.


Anna July 3, 2006 at 12:51 pm

Great review, thanks for posting this. I have certainly heard of Tsukiko before, but haven’t really listened to any of her music. This gave me a chance to hear some of her work and I was pleasantly surprised.


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: