Kaoru Amane’s Taiyou no Uta

by Rinoa on September 24, 2006 · 257 comments · AddThis

Taiyou no Uta single promo
Promotional photoshoot for Taiyou no Uta single
Artist: Kaoru Amane (Sawajiri Erika)
Product Code: SRCL-6407~9
Release date: 2006.08.30
Debut Ranking: #2
Peak Ranking: #1
First Press: Photobook, bonus DVD and bonus tracks
Label: Sony Music

Sawajiri Erika has been in the Japanese entertainment industry for quite a while. Since 1999, she’s been signed up with a talent promotions company, Stardust. This company is one of the largest and prominent agency in Japan. She was fairly popular and took part in various variety shows. However she only started attracting the widespread attention of the Japanese audience with her outstanding performance as Ikeuchi Aya in 1 Litre of Tears, in 2005. This dorama attracted many people internationally for its moving and heart-rendering plot.

She is rapidly becoming a household name as a multi-talented entertainer within the Japanese by starring in the movie PACCHIGI! and getting two supporting roles in two movies, one being the highly anticipated Shinobi in 2005. In 2006 Erika acted in five other movies in 2006. Her most recent role was in the dorama adaptation of ‘Taiyou no Uta’. Erika portrayed Kaoru Amane, a young girl who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Xeroderma pigmentosum. This disorder makes it impossible for Kaoru to be exposed to sunlight and thus she only goes out at night. In the nights, she performs outside as a street musician.

Taiyou no Uta promo
Taiyou no Uta promo photo

This dorama seemed to have the same ingredients that led to the success of ‘1 Litre of Tears’. Erika again portrays the part of a terminally ill teenager, who tries to live her life as fully as possible. However this dorama, rather than focusing on the disease and her family, but more onto her dreams, friendships and her complex relationship with Kouji. However one will definately notice that Erika’s role for both characters is of a strong and determined person, who wants to live their life to their fullest.

The dorama, ‘Taiyou no Uta’ wasn’t as popular as many expected it to be. The viewership rating of 10.26%, was quite average and satisfactory. However it seemed to have too many parallels with previous doramas, with a similar theme to attract widespread attention. Nonetheless, Erika still seemed to manage a lot of attention in a quite different manner. The character of ‘Kaoru Amane’, is that of an aspiring singer and as a side project for this dorama, Erika has released a single with Kaoru’s fictional compositions.

Sony created a special website, dedicated only to Kaoru Amane. It was specially constructed, as if Kaoru was a real artist, making her debut. The content on this website was quite detailed, with a gorgeous layout, a photo gallery and extra goodies, such as guitar tabs for her songs. These guitar tabs can be downloaded for free for any guitar players. Seems that the original intention was simply to bring the dorama to life and thus gaining a bigger audience. Nonetheless it seems the opposite results happened. This single sold extremely well and gained a huge fanbase.

Overall it sold 339,936 copies and the sales show no signs of slowing down. Up till the present date, after four weeks, this single has been securing a very high position and keeps on conquering the top spots, beating many strong competitors. She is also the first actress-turned-singer to enter the ORICON Top 3 since Hirosue Ryoko in April 1997 and the first female singer releasing under a fictional name from a drama to enter Top 3 since September 2000’s Kanno Miho. She also ranks second among the female artists who released a single so far in 2006.

It’s hard to define why and how this single is doing so well. The single didn’t have a lot of promotion, yet Sony made sure to provide a very exciting package and create the image of Kaoru Amane within this single to the point that Erika is barely mentioned. This marketing strategy was quite interesting and successful. In the end it’s possible that the hype of Kaoru Amane built up in the beginning by YUI, made this single so successful while Erika is currently riding the wave. Yet it’s also possible that Erika’s excellent acting and attractive appearance within this dorama that did attract such a huge fanbase because YUI’s single wasn’t extremely successful. Nonetheless it could be that people were drawn to this dorama character who came to life to live her dream.

 

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1. Taiyou no Uta

This song starts off slowly with a guitar solo, which slowly opens up into a more powerful intro with other musical instruments typically used in bands. Kaoru’s vocals aren’t especially powerful but they seem to have the characteristic of sounding clear and emotional, especially during the chorus. The chorus is especially quite beautiful, the melody is so emotional and heart-rending, that one cannot help but be moved by this song.

The use of an acoustic guitar and electric guitar were used in the same song, and surprisingly they blended really well with each other. To fill the gaps by giving this ballad a more emotional edge, strings were used. This made the song sound more soothing and soften the ‘harder’ drumset accompaniment. The electric guitar is rather toned down in order to allow Kaoru’s weak vocal to stand out.

This song also boasts of an enchanting composition and artistic and emotional lyrics. The lyrics speak about how Kaoru hid herself from the light and how she was afraid to discover different emotions because she feared she would get hurt and how Kouji gave her light and colour in her life. The lyrics and composition were done by Maika Shiratori.

The fictional band which was used within the dorama was called “Moon Child”, inspired by Kaoru’s genetic disorder. This band consisted of a keyboard, a bass, electric guitar, a drumset and a vocalist. Kouji and his friends played the instruments after being inspired by Kouji playing his guitar, while Kaoru is the vocalist. This song certainly has a ‘band’ feeling, although it also has a definite ’studio’ feel, as if the original song was modified by a recording company to make it sound more professional and having a marketing quality.

However this song has some flaws. Kaoru’s vocals are a bit weak at some parts, as if she’s whispering or she doesn’t have the strength to continue singing. I’m not exactly sure if it was simply because her vocals are simply weak or if she was supposed to sound so. Nonetheless it’s quite impressive to see a person without any previous experience with singing to have such pleasant and soothing vocals which flow so well with the song.


iPod iPod version (30.8 MB)

The promotional clip is definitely the perfect combination for a beautiful and conceptual one. Initially the colouring scheme is almost monochromatic with a dark setting. Kaoru is featured sitting on a huge sunflower. However when the chorus breaks in the colours become extremely vibrant and different scenes are ‘photographed’. The use of vibrant colours and imagery is really evident within this clip. Many sunflowers are visible within this clip to symbolise the sun. Kaoru is extremely beautiful and looks extremely natural. The ending scene is especially touching and shows a definite but beautiful sense of finality where Kaoru disappears in the light.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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2. Stay with me

This song is quite different from “Taiyou no Uta”. The tone is more light-hearted and playful. This ballad has a mid-tempo tone with a rather repetitive beat. The message seems to point at how a girl discovers love and consequently sees how beautiful life can be. Thus she doesn’t want her loved one to leave her.

Since it was the very first song Kaoru composed, I believe that it was especially composed to sound simple and uncomplicated to show how her skills were quite low at that time. The melody isn’t complex and thus it doesn’t stand out much. In fact it has a rather ‘indie’ feel, with an unpolished touch. The musical instruments are typical to groups or bands, making it sound as if “Moon Child” were playing this song. It’s definitely not a groundbreaking song but I find it’s so touching and sweet, in a manner that display the innocent feelings of a young girl so directly.

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

3. Taiyou no Uta <acoustic version>

This song is basically a more mellow and soothing version of ‘Taiyou no Uta’. It sounds exactly like it does in the dorama when Kouji plays the acoustic guitar and Amane sings. Kaoru’s vocals are quite vivid and stand out without any trouble, because there’s just a guitar in the background. One can also obtain the guitar tab from her official website if they’re interested in playing this song.

Personally I really enjoyed this version because it’s really beautiful in its’ simplicity. It stands out on its’ own without any complex instruments. Kaoru’s vocals seem to shine here, giving this version a more emotional edge. It’s true that it lost most of it’s dramatic effect where the musical instruments built up the chorus – but the raw and clear vocals of Kaoru simply made up for it.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

4. Stay with me <acoustic version>

Stay with me <acoustic version> is also a toned down version of the original version. Also this song has a similar sound to the acoustic version of “Taiyou no Uta”. It’s mellower and also sounds much emptier since there seems a lot of moments where the guitar plays solo. I find Kaoru’s vocals don’t really sound pleasant in the chorus, as if she’s straining herself but during the verses her vocals are more relaxed and soothing.

Rating: ★★★½☆

 

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5. Wish <original instrumental>

This instrumental version is from the song ‘Wish’, which is sung by Tachibana Asami. In the dorama, Tachibana Asami is Kaoru’s idol but she eventually becomes her rival at a certain point of the dorama because they both love the same person.

This version is quite dreamy and mellow, yet one cannot help but feel how fragile and helpless it sounds. I feel it really reflected Asami’s weak and undecided persona who hesitated at every second. I really loved the soothing piano and guitar solo which seemed so magical and fleeting that it transported you to another world.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Conclusion

Overall I must say this single was quite strong, despite being Erika’s first single. It simply had every single detail carefully fitted within this release, making it quite exciting to buy. The packaging was beyond excellent and the first press edition had so many extra goodies that one couldn’t help but order the single right away. Despite not having a lot of promotion, this single simply was too good to pass by and I believe it was why it sold so well.

Most probably this is the final release by the persona ‘Kaoru Amane’, since she only released one single within the dorama. A second single would probably destroy the “dorama to life” aura that was created. However this doesn’t mean that Erika won’t release any more singles. ‘Taiyou no Uta’ was a huge success and I’m quite sure that many of her fans want more releases by her. It’s quite possible that Erika will expand her career into the music industry, although she’d need to work on her vocals to be able to compete with the many talented vocalists in the J-Pop industry.

I am really hoping she’ll get a deal with Sony and work with some excellent composer to release more music since I see a lot of potential for this beautiful artist. If that shall not be the case, I’ll keep out an eye for Erika’s acting career, which certainly sounds extremely promising!

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

 

First press version
First press CD+DVD version
Regular version
Regular CD version

CD Tracklist

  1. Taiyou no Uta
  2. Stay with me
  3. Taiyou no Uta <acoustic version>
  4. Stay with me <acoustic version>
  5. Wish <original instrumental>
  6. Taiyou no Uta <instrumental>
  7. Stay with me <instrumental>

DVD Tracklist

  1. Taiyou no Uta PV

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

 

On a final note, I must thank eyn for all his help with this review. Without his notes this review wouldn’t be as half as good as it is.

Pages: 1 2

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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.

{ 1 trackback }

Lust::Geek Building The Bridge Part 2 » How’s life? UNITED STATES
January 17, 2007 at 11:44 pm

{ 256 comments… read them below or add one }

Butoy November 4, 2010 at 1:03 am

Please send me the guitar pro file. Thanks a lot! Do you have guitar pro files for arashi songs? Please send them to me as well, thanks!

Reply

Amir Thompson ISRAEL June 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Thank you for sharing that amazing tune :-) I like it!

Reply

Mike UNITED STATES April 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm

May i have the tabs to wish taiyou no uta please and thank you

vo.mike@yahoo.com

Reply

moose CANADA March 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm

hey if anyone has the piano sheet music for taiyou could you please send it to my email as well – the_moose5@hotmail.com

Reply

Martin March 5, 2010 at 1:01 am

can i also get the ‘wish’ guitar tab?
thx b4

martin_sky77@yahoo.com

Reply

sipit December 6, 2009 at 4:05 am

hi anyone have the piano scores for taiyou no uta??
haha can share with me please :)
my email address is louhan_at@yahoo.com

Reply

Kaachan AUSTRALIA November 11, 2009 at 6:16 am

nice j.dorama

i love that…

i love the moonchild

and kaoru amane

fans here in Phil. ^_^

Reply

Tiffany November 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

erm can you please send me taiyou no uta in . instrumental version i need it … for my school…>..< please help …

Reply

Joe UNITED STATES July 26, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Erika is extremely kawaii. and her voice is so pure, really nice. not enuff cud be say about Erika,,,,,sugoi ni always

Reply

J!n\/\/oRL0çK July 23, 2009 at 12:18 am

Not just taiyou No Uta? All of his SONg I LOVE IT !!!! Can u send it 2 me @ jinworlock1@yahoo.com!!!PLLSSS!!!!!! A song all of them!!!!!

Reply

lockheart89 July 14, 2009 at 7:38 am

hi shadow can u send to me the wish piano score?
here is my email angel_heart_tje_8@yahoo.com

thx in advance =))

Reply

Ivan adtri UNITED STATES June 3, 2009 at 5:22 am

How i can meet you ERIKA..,you’re very perfect women i ever see..! Your face.,your voice..,give me spirit for study hard..,! Always smile ERIKA..!

Reply

Akira CANADA March 7, 2009 at 2:15 am

Hi Shadow,

can u please send me the tabs for wish?
dragonsofdeath21@hotmail.com

thx a bunch

Reply

Tenjho February 10, 2009 at 6:09 am

Hi Shadow

can i also get the tabs for wish, i only saw the link for Taiyou no Uta but havnt seen any for wish.

thanks in advance

you can send it to:
kool_fire_and_ice@hotmail.com

Reply

Rexii AUSTRALIA February 10, 2009 at 4:50 am

Hi Shadow, may I have the tabs for both Wish and Taiyou no Uta?

Thanks!

rexii2323@gmail.com

Reply

Chris UNITED STATES January 19, 2009 at 12:26 am

I want the tabs for wish!!! The guitar pro tabs for taiyou would be nice too. I love the Kaoru Amane’s songs.

My email is azndoofus@hotmail.com

Reply

ShAdOW CANADA January 17, 2009 at 8:09 pm

its been awhile since i started making the Wish guitar tab, i kinda stopped for about 2 years and just recently resumed making it

The tab is now 90% complete, i might be adding the piano part into the tab after awhile

if anyone want the tab right now leave your email and i will send it to you, I also have the guitar tab for Taiyou No Uta, but both tabs are in Guitar Pro 5 format and in order to open them you must have Guitar Pro 5

Reply

aibon January 12, 2010 at 3:12 am

I want it too.

Reply

Syn March 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

thx shadow..can u send me the Wish guitar tab or guitar pro tab..i wanna learn that song soo badly..here my email..shahir_nz90@yahoo.com..thx !!

Reply

Shay May 8, 2010 at 9:28 am

Could you send it to me too? email:

x.night.predator.x@gmail.com

Reply

Nala UNITED STATES November 13, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Please send me the “Wish” tab. Thanks.

smau709394@yahoo.com

Reply

Ren November 13, 2008 at 6:06 pm

I know lots of people are asking for the same thing, but if anyone could send me the piano score for Taiyou no Uta, I’d love them FOREVER.

Really. I would.

email me at koten.zanshun@yahoo.com

Thanks!

Reply

Sylvia September 6, 2008 at 11:48 pm

hi,

may i no where to get the ‘taiyou no uta’ and ’stay with me’
music scores..

if u have it can u mailed to me the music note plz..
its a reli nice movie..

good job!

Reply

daren MALAYSIA August 28, 2008 at 7:27 pm

yesterday me e-mail to you but i forgot gave me my e-mail to you this is my email ok pls replay……..daren_hong@hotmail.com

Reply

teiji AUSTRALIA August 28, 2008 at 9:28 am

anyone have her songs on guitar pro with strumming?

Reply

daren MALAYSIA August 27, 2008 at 7:50 pm

hello to you i just want to ask u where can i get your cd of inTaiyou no Uta malaysia ??? and she fan club???

Reply

everyday012 August 18, 2008 at 5:18 am

HI~I hope it won’t be too late to ask for the piano music sheets of taiyounouta and stay with me….it is very difficult to find and i have been longing for them,could anyone send them to me if you have? Thank you very much.
My e-mail:everyday012012@yahoo.com.hk

Reply

nectaline July 13, 2008 at 8:57 am

shadow.. u have tabs for the song wish sang by tachibana asami (Nao Matsushita)?
if so can u send my e tabs?
thanks lots..
heres my email
missy.ning@hotmail.com

Reply

dazanad AUSTRALIA June 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I really like the vocal version of wish. If you have it, can you please share it ? Thanks a lot

Reply

ShAdOW CANADA June 22, 2008 at 7:29 am

I’ve uploaded the gp5 version of taiyou no uta, you can dl it here

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7X9TTSH4

Reply

one MALAYSIA June 19, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Taiyou No Uta is the most wonderfull movie i ever seen
Erika is so Kawaii….

Reply

Rexii AUSTRALIA June 7, 2008 at 4:52 am

I’m also looking for the gp5 version of taiyou no uta
someone posted a link but its dead

Reply

June FRANCE May 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I really love this Drama [and the film of course, Yui is simply beautiful.]

I’m looking for one tabs of Taiyou no Uta for GP5…
If anybody has it, please send it to me : joosho_dreameuz@hotmail.fr

Thanks

[and sorry for my English... i'm french ^^']

Reply

Apu April 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Hallo!
I love this cutie Kaoru and her songs.

does anybody has tabs of song WISH?

please send it to me a.pu@mail.ru

i`ll be very gald

Reply

JayVi April 3, 2008 at 3:43 am

I see.. thanks for all your responses, xakanishi.. they really helped a lot!
and thank you, too, kanesha… I’m going to head out in town this weekend and see if any of the stores out there have them. x D

Reply

Kanesha UNITED STATES April 3, 2008 at 12:34 am

Have any of you guys listened to Erika’s other songs- They’re awsome! I especially like Fantasy

Reply

Kanesha UNITED STATES April 3, 2008 at 12:29 am

i think its on dvd in Japan already

Reply

xakanishi April 2, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Well, the series was originally broadcast in 2006, so I don’t know if you can find it on TV… And I’m not even sure about buying DVDs, sorry. xD;;;

Reply

JayVi April 2, 2008 at 7:42 am

oOoOh! I SEE! thank you very much!
hmm, i’m in sasebo, japan right now.. how can i find the channel / time it’s on?
or is it already on dvd? i can go out in town to look for it! =D

Reply

xakanishi CANADA April 2, 2008 at 7:27 am

Yes, Erika’s version is like a show. Take any CSI, for example. The only thing is, because there are four seasons in Japanese TV, a series usually only spans about half of the time it would span in North America. So usually, rather than 20-odd episodes, you’d only get about 10, which is how many there are in Erika’s Taiyou no Uta.

Reply

JayVi April 1, 2008 at 11:32 pm

WOW, that was an extremely fast response!
okay, i understand it a bit more now… so the one with Erika is kind of like a show-type verson of the movie, right?
Thanks again!

Reply

xakanishi CANADA April 1, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Before I go and accidentally proclaim myself fully knowledgeable in the topic, I haven’t seen the YUI movie. I’ve read synopses and I’ve seen screenshots and clips, but that’s it. From this, I believe that the storyline is essentially the same, except the drama obviously spans longer, and so the storyline is (most likely) more developed.

As far as I know, the movie came first, followed by the drama version. But yes, I’m pretty sure it’s the same story, just different cast and longer, as I mentioned.

It’s alright, I don’t mind explaining this – as well as I can, anyway. Hopefully I cleared it up a bit. And if you get the chance, see the drama. I thought it was really good, but you’d get the chance to make up your mind yourself. :)

Reply

JayVi April 1, 2008 at 11:15 pm

WOW! really? i get it now.. so wait, which one was the one to come out first?
so pretty much the same exact story, right? but they used different actresses and added more to one of them?
sorry for being so dumbfounded about this, but it really got me confused.
I appreciate you taking the time to clear things up with me.

Reply

xakanishi April 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Not a spin-off. It’s another version of the same story, rather than an extension of the plot found in YUI’s movie. :)

Reply

JayVi April 1, 2008 at 10:24 am

OH! i see. So it’s kind of like a spin-off to Yui’s movie?

Reply

xakanishi CANADA April 1, 2008 at 2:25 am

There was a movie, starring YUI as you said. After the movie was released, a drama version was produced, starring Erika Sawajiri as Amane Kaoru. The review on this page refers to the single Erika sung as Amane Kaoru, which was released under her name in the drama.

Reply

JayVi April 1, 2008 at 2:21 am

so wait… there is a SHOW NOW?
cause i watched the MOVIE and it was Yui.

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Kanesha UNITED STATES March 31, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The character’s name in the show is Kaoru Amane. The actress who plays her is Erika Sawajiri.

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JayVi March 31, 2008 at 10:57 am

I am VERY confused! I thought YUI was the actress in Taiyou no Uta with the name Kaoru Amane?
But here, it’s saying that Kaoru Amane is an actual person that was the actress in the same movie.
Can somebody please clarify this for me?!
Arigato Gozaimasu!

Reply

ahaa March 19, 2008 at 10:00 am

Ok, the tabs for taiyou no uta aren’t hard to find.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/k/kaoru_amane/taiyou_no_uta_tab.htm

…except I prefer to use just D where it says D7.

Does anyone have the sheet music or guitar tab for From sunset to sunrise? That’s quite hard to come by.

Reply

carmelo March 9, 2008 at 3:56 am

i like the taiyou no uta the song and tv drama,specially kaoru(erika sawajiri).

Reply

koda March 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm

hi, anyone have taiyou no uta piano scores? or any other songs that are sang by sawajiri erika piano scores? i cant seem to find it. if anyone have it can you send it to:

liangweide@hotmail.com

Reply

kumi INDONESIA February 4, 2008 at 7:29 am

taiyou no uta is the greatest song from japan that i ever heared!! xDD
i hope i can met kaoru amane, my idol from japan..

Reply

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