Hitomi’s Destiny

by Rinoa on September 1, 2006 · 20 comments · AddThis

A photoshoot of her promotional video 'Destiny -Taiyo no Hana-'
An offshot image from her promotional clip 'Destiny -Taiyo no Hana-' her official fan club, Eye Land.
Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Product Code: AVCD-30976/7
Release Date: 2006.06.21
Debut Ranking: #14
First Press: Black Jack 21 Sticker
Label: avex trax

Hitomi Shimatani is definitely one of the most talented and beautiful artists around the J-Pop industry. With divine vocals and a demure attitude, Hitomi delivers an extremely powerful and passionate double A-side single titled ‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana- / Koimizu -Tears of Love-’ for the beginning of summer in 2006.

‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana- / Koimizu -Tears of Love-’ was highly anticipated by many fans especially since the preview of ‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana-’ had been out in spring. This song replaced Ami Suzuki’s ‘Fantastic’ as an opening theme for Black Jack 21 and was originally scheduled to be released on 7th June. However it was pushed back to be released on the 21st, probably because it was decided that both songs were going to have a promotional clip. It also attracted the attention of many casual listeners, who were extremely impressed at the quality of this song.

Destiny's Poster
The promo poster

Avex trax must have realised this single had a lot of potential, because quite a lot of promotion and attention have been given to this single. First of all, this was her first single which included a CD+DVD version. Both versions had different covers and a first press extra was included on both. Hitomi’s schedule became quite full with a multitude of television appearances and magazine photoshoots.

Hitomi also made sure to change her image to fit the single’s theme. She was frequently noticed wearing long, flowing and classy dresses in a vintage style, with darker makeup. Her covers featured her in a field with bright yellow flowers which contrasted hugely with the dark and dull background. I felt it gave off a really powerful aura and an artistic touch rather than just being another beautiful cover.

In the first week ‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana- / Koimizu -Tears of Love-’ managed to secure the 14th place and sell 12,608 copies. It spent approximately eight weeks in the charts, to date and sold around 26,000 copies overall. This is quite a step forward from most of her previously released singles, making it her best selling single in 2006. However I still felt that this single deserved better sales and more attention due to its’ quality.

 

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1. Destiny -Taiyo no Hana-

I really do love the title of this song. It really does convey an ethereal and artistic image. Literally it means ‘Destiny – Flower of the Sun’. Hitomi seems to have a tendency to name her song titles related to flowers, giving quite a lovely aesthetic image.

The song starts off in an unearthly manner with Hitomi’s subtle and fragile vocals accompanied by a string quartet, deceiving the listener thinking they are going to listen to a slow ballad. However it gradually starts becoming more dramatic and powerful till it reaches the climax. Hitomi’s vocals become sharper and more powerful and the use of violins is more evident. The chorus is beyond excellent. The use of orchestral instruments give the chorus a rich touch with a powerful aftertaste which resonates even in the bridge. Also the passion within Hitomi’s vocals is something I never imagined I would hear. She certainly manages to convey the emotions with excellent detail without going overboard.

The lyrics were written by Muttsumi Jundai and the music by Yanagisawa Hideki. They make use of a lot of imagery, making them quite dramatic and artistic. The theme is focused on love throughout the hard times of life, giving it an uplifting tone, because despite of all the troubles she wants to be with the person she loves most and feels her strength lies within her loved one.

I do believe it’s quite an excellent song with an interesting blend of orchestral and percussion elements. Overall this song literally is bursting with the excellent composition and boasts quite well of its’ orchestral arrangement. Many fans compared this song to ‘Taiyoushin’ and ‘Mona Lisa’ from her album ‘Heart&Symphony’ due to it’s dramatic tone. It literally gives me chills while listening to this song.

The promotional clip follows the dark and gothic trend of ‘~Mermaid~’. It is set into a dark and haunting forest. The colours used are quite dull, especially the costumes and the settings, except the use of red which contrasts starkly with the background. I feel the colour red was used to symbolise the passion Hitomi and her lover feel for each other. It is especially evident within the bright red flowers she carries along with her and the flowers her lover has himself. It seems to fit in the theme of the lyrics perfectly, where passion prevails despite of how dark and hopeless something might seem.

I also really appreciated those small details included within the clip. I loved the synchronized movements of the string players: it made them look so unreal, as if they were not human. Another interesting factor is how her lover’s face is never shown and he keeps appearing and reappearing in the same scene, which gives off an aura of mystery and curiosity. Is it possible that her lover was never alive in the first place? Maybe in the final scene Hitomi is giving up her life to be with the one who she loves?

I feel this clip is an enigma within itself, quite similar to Ayumi Hamasaki’s earlier conceptual clips. I also felt this style had an indirect influence from ‘The Ring’, since the dark setting is so similar and the scene where Hitomi is wearing a white outfit is so haunting and surreal. In other scenes Hitomi wears a lot of beautiful gowns, which do give her a sophisticated and classy look. I feel this style fits her perfectly.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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2. Koimizu -Tears of Love-

‘Koimizu -Tears of Love-’ is a slow and soothing ballad. It starts off at a very low volume with strings and various soft instrumentals. Hitomi’s vocals are extremely mellow and full of bittersweet sorrow. The use of the background music gives is a slightly magical touch to it, reminding you of those music boxes. I really love the melody of this song. This aspect blends quite seamlessly with Hitomi’s vocals, giving a lot of charm. This song itself is quite captivating and quite relaxing to listen to, especially with the addition of the beautiful composition of this song.

The lyrics were written by Hitomi herself, in collaboration with Miyazaki Ayumi, who also worked on the composition and arrangement of this song. This song was used as a theme song for the dorama ‘Mystery Wednesday’ that was aired on the 5th April.

The promotional clip of ‘Koimizu -Tears of Love-’, has the same setting of ‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana-’. However the promotional clip had a totally different style. The video only featured Hitomi at one angle and it had the similar simplistic style to Ayumi Hamasaki’s HEAVEN and Daybreak. It also switched between monochrome and colour on various parts of the song. I felt it based itself a lot on the emotional aspect of the lyrics and on the artist herself. Despite of not having the novelty of ‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana’, this clip managed to make me feel extremely emotional, especially when she almost burst into tears.

Rating: ★★★★½

 

3. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- (Black Jack 21 Mix)’

‘Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- (Black Jack 21 Mix)’ is basically the anime version of this track. It’s only two minutes long and sounds less polished than the original version. Hitomi’s vocals sound more human, in a way, as they seem to sound more vivid. This track ends this single as abruptly as it started, which does manage to portray the stark emotion within this single.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Conclusion

This single is definitely a must buy for any fan of Hitomi and J-Pop alike. ‘Destiny -Taiyo no Hana- / Koimizu -Tears of Love-’ is an excellent package of art, passion, and talent. The style of both songs are classical and unique in their own way. Packed with a dramatic, orchestral and powerful song, and a mellow and bitersweet ballad, I was literally blown away by the high quality of this single and the little details which were carefully made to fit the whole tone of this single. Avex also managed to include two promotional clips and a first press extra, which made the single even more exciting for her fans.

I really did enjoy the whole dark and emotional mood within this single. Overall Hitomi did manage to bring the bitersweet taste through the lyrics, the haunting vocals and the clever use of imagery and contrasts which was seen throughout her clips and the artwork. This is definitely her best single to date and I really do hope that she will continue on with the direction she started on with this single to create a whole niche of her own of crossover-pop genre.

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

 

CD Version
CD version
CD+DVD Version
CD+DVD version

CD Tracklist

  1. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana-
  2. Koimizu -Tears of Love-
  3. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- (Black Jack 21 Mix)
  4. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- (Instrumental)
  5. Koimizu -Tears of Love- (Instrumental)

DVD Tracklist

  1. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- PV
  2. Koimizu -Tears of Love- PV

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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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.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

justin larsson March 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm

i love this single!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

Tenoh Haruka May 6, 2007 at 5:51 pm

got that right -_-
-Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

Reply

Tom UNITED KINGDOM May 6, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Sure thing Rinoa!

http://www.world-song-contest.com/index.htm

The Statistics country pages is quite out of date but you can see on the WSC 23 page in the History section that Japan did indeed win with the song. =)

Reply

Rinoa May 6, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Hey Tom. Mind showing us this online contest? I’m interested to see it now that you are mentioning how she ranked so well! And I agree with your comment. This single really deserved to sell so much better but I sometimes end up feeling doubtful about Japan’s taste in good music.

Reply

Tom UNITED KINGDOM May 6, 2007 at 11:54 am

How I simply adore these two songs… And it’s not just me. I sent this into an online song contest and it beat off competition from about 40 other countries, including Christina Aguilera and Helena Paparizou for the number one favourite song. So it truly does have a crossover appeal!

Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- is simply mindblowing. I am in awe every time I listen to it. And Koimizu -Tears of Love- is just totally beautiful.

If great taste was reflected in sales this would have been the number one selling single in Japan for 2006.

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Tenoh Haruka UNITED STATES March 1, 2007 at 11:47 pm

well, in my opinion, i love zip zap zipangu and tsuioku+love letter ABOVE ALL her songs. but, yes. i found myself getting all moody and sentimental in the shower as i heard koizimu, and all strong and powerful as i sung destiny-sunflower…(taiyou=sun, hana=flower) so, yea, this is a great site, as i’v said before, and he points out EVERY aspect that us fans see…hehe., and i have to agree with yukino, beacuse i REALLY expected somethig else. but OY VEY! it just turned out to be just like mahiro no tsuki, sooo disapointing, and it got boring, so ijust closed it like half way into the song on youtube. but shes beautiful and all, but choreography and ATLEAST SOME scenery change is great. like destiny, she doesnt DANCE, she just changes scenes, and it gets the point across. but they really screwed up with koizimu-tears of love. and have you noticed that the kanji for koizimu, has sui in it. the kanji of water. i noticed that, its “something-water.” and somehow “sui” has nothing to do with the word “koizimu.” thus proving my point that i love japan!!! aisuru nihon-go!

Reply

Kyo-chan UNITED STATES February 21, 2007 at 11:24 am

cool…thanks. luv ya dahlin…

Reply

Rinoa February 15, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Kyo-chan, Have you tried JPopSuki? Lately a member over there has posted almost all of Hitomi’s discography so I’m sure there shall be a lot of seeds.

Reply

Kyo-chan UNITED STATES February 13, 2007 at 9:05 pm

OMG, where do I download Koimizu? I’ve been looking for it everywhere!

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Wilfrid December 29, 2006 at 11:40 pm

Thanks for sharing. Both songs are good especially Destiny -Taiyo no Hana. I always think that Hitomi Shimatani is a bit too soft for me but she does have a very good voice.

Reply

CutieSongstress UNITED STATES September 21, 2006 at 12:35 pm

You described the single perfectly! ^_^ It IS her best single and I agree with everything you said about it. It is truly flawless and perfection at its best. n_n

Reply

mystique September 16, 2006 at 8:34 pm

It’s a great article, very thoughtful, and you really brought out points of the songs that should be noted. Wonderful review!

Reply

lawrence AUSTRALIA September 10, 2006 at 7:13 am

great review! she is definitely a great singer with stunning looks.

Reply

melissa September 2, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Wow.. really deserves a five star. This single was melancholic, in a good way. I definitely like Tears of Love, the video was great. I can’t really say anything except pure admiration so i won’t go on any further.

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Caelii May 9, 2011 at 4:06 am

Walking in the pesrncee of giants here. Cool thinking all around!

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HilaryDuffFanboy AUSTRALIA September 2, 2006 at 10:26 am

I could not agree more. These two songs were the first Shimatani Hitomi songs I’ve heard, and I am majorly impressed. The strings in Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- are just mindblowing because they complement her vocals excellently. Koimizu -Tears of Love- is a very nice and soothing ballad, and really shows that angelic voice of hers.

When the end of the year comes, I won’t be suprised if this is my favourite non-Otsuka Ai single of 2006.

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Ryuumi UNITED STATES September 1, 2006 at 11:27 pm

Wow, I’ve only listened to a handful of things by Hitomi, and I believe Destiny – Taiyo no Hana may just have become a favorite XD I like the sound of the orchetra playing, and the way the sound just grows, I love it.

Reply

yukino UNITED STATES September 1, 2006 at 1:11 pm

This is one of my favorite singles from Hitomi ^^ Both songs are very passionate in their own way. You know, I didn’t like ‘~Mermaid~’ all that much, but I still like Destiny, even though I suppose it’s in the same style. It’s a great song. However, I was extremely… well, bored by the PV for Koimizu -Tears of Love- XD The whole time I was watching it, I was waiting and waiting for the scene to change, but nothing was happening… and then she stopped singing all of a sudden and I thought they’d made a mistake, i.e. it was going to get interesting, but it soon became apparent that that wasn’t the case >.> Lucky Hitomi’s so beautiful, or else they could never have pulled that off *shakes head*

Great review, Rinoa, you’re one of the most productive writers in this team *stares forlornly at my one article*

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Craig UNITED KINGDOM September 1, 2006 at 12:02 pm

I agree that Destiny -Taiyo no Hana- track was excellent 1st I’ve heard of it. (Couldn’t load the remix but then didn’t really need to anyway the orig. is good enough :) ).

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