by Rinoa on January 14, 2007 · 13 comments · AddThis

A photoshoot of 'PASIO'
A promotional image of the artwork for 'PASIO'.
Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Product Code: AVCD-31123/4
Release Date: 2006.11.15
Debut Ranking: #9
Label: avex trax

After the mindblowing classical single, ‘Destiny -Taiyou no Hana-’ I was highly anticipating her upcoming release with a lot of excitement. After five months, Hitomi returned with the exotic and latin-flavoured ‘PASIO’ which definitely left many of her fans with mixed feelings.

Before moving into the ‘Crossover’ genre, Hitomi Shimatani experimented with different genres and images. This can be followed through her releases which range from bubblegum pop to techno music. With the release of her 23rd single, ‘PASIO’ Hitomi returned back to 2003 with her ethnic roots. However this did not prove as successful since ‘PASIO’ only sold around 10,262 copies, making it her lowest selling single.


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When I heard the title of this song, I was extremely excited. ‘PASIO’ means ‘ocean’ in Japanese but many fans have speculated that ‘PASIO’ actually stands for ‘passion’ from the Latin language. Either way the song title follows a typical Hitomi style where the titles give off an image or a theme.

‘PASIO’ surprisingly has a latin-flavour with an ethnic beat. Ethnic instruments, such as drums, organs and guitars are quite predominant as background music. It’s quite impressive how they blend well to produce latin rhythms. As most of her singles ‘PASIO’ is the ‘Entame Sports’ theme song with Nippon Television system.

Hitomi is extremely at ease singing ethnic genres, as evidenced in singles such as ‘Viola’, ‘Perseus’ and most recently ‘FALCO’, and so her vocals are polished even when performing live. Also the latin genre was a predominant one within her album ‘Gate ~ Scena III ~’. Despite the fact I’m not extremely fond of this song ‘PASIO’ is definitely uniquely Hitomi and the song does manage to be moderately catchy.

The promotional clip contains a lot of imagery related to fire and the predominant use of the colours red and black are quite obvious. It basically is a lot of eye candy with Hitomi wearing three outfits and dancing a little during some scenes and no concept at all. It just felt like a random clip thrown together at the last second. Also the magician looked out of place. To be honest it wasn’t exactly impressive or interesting but more of a generic clip. I felt it really left out the exotic and ethnic theme which was quite disappointing.

During live performances Hitomi was featured wearing a gypsy-styled outfit which I felt really complimented with the style more than the promotional video ever did. Hitomi even danced a little during the chorus with her backing dancers, which made the live performances even more enjoyable. A live band was also featured which gave the whole atmosphere a whole ethnic feel. Overall I must say this is what impressed most out of this single.

Rating: ★★★½☆


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2. True Blue

‘True Blue’ is a very slow and relaxing ballad. It has a country feel to it, with the only a few instrumentals in the background. It really makes me think of a sunny afternoon watching fields. It’s major flaw was that the song is simply continuous during the whole five minutes. I also really liked the backing vocals during the chorus. They were soft enough to blend with Hitomi’s vocals and create a very soothing mood. However I think it fits well as a b-side. ‘True Blue’ was featured in the final episode of anime series “Ueki no Hosoku.”

Rating: ★★★★☆


3. Tsuioku LIVE REC from Special Live Crossover II

This song was recorded from her ‘Special Live Crossover II’. Hitomi covered ‘Tsuioku’ on this live. ‘Tsuioku’ which means ‘recollections’, is an enchanting and heartfelt ballad which would hypnotise any listener. I felt the chorus really manages to depict how impressive and emotional Hitomi’s vocals can be.

I really loved the piano and violin in the background which created such a beautiful and moody atmosphere matching with Hitomi’s vocals. To me this is probably the best track off this single because it’s so emotional yet so soothing.

Rating: ★★★★★



To be entirely honest, I wasn’t exactly impressed with this single at first. I was extremely disappointed and it only started growing onto me after watching her perform it live. Hitomi displayed a lot of confidence and it was evident that she enjoyed performing it live. This aspect made me re-listen to this single and enjoy it.

The problem with this single is that it seems to have fairly average songs with nothing in particular which makes them stand out. In fact nothing from this package stands out at all. The promotional clip and the artwork feature a typically beautiful Hitomi but they are not particularly exciting and display nothing new or outstanding.

When comparing this single to the previous one I felt that a huge rift in quality separated them. In fact I really felt it was a step down from her current style. ‘PASIO’ literally sounds like a single taken off from her album ‘Gate ~ Scena III ~’ which was released back in 2003 and I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea. It’s as if this single is at stuck at the stage ‘been there, done that’.

To conclude, I must admit that in the end ‘PASIO’ is quite a good single. Despite its’ shortcomings it does fully display Hitomi’s vocals. Unfortunately avex barely promoted this single. Hopefully her next single, ‘Dragonfly’ shall be much more exciting and shall provide more anticipation.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆


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

CD Tracklist

  1. PASIO
  2. True Blue
  3. Tsuioku LIVE REC from Special Live Crossover II
  4. PASIO (Instrumental)
  5. True Blue (Instrumental)

DVD Tracklist

  2. Destiny -Taiyou no Hana- Live Shooting from Special Live Crossover II

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.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

R_Hikki CANADA July 21, 2007 at 10:14 pm

I agree that “Destiny -taiyou no hana-” was mindblowing and a good fan favourite but “PASIO” was a really bad follow-up. You described the instruments well which I also thought were good but it was very repetitive. I got the feeling that there wasn’t as much put into this single as her previous ones, and you can deffinatly see it in the video. I hope she has another single as experimental as this but with more beat and rhythem to catch on to.


Tenoh Haruka UNITED STATES June 9, 2007 at 12:02 am

well…nathan, i know wat u mean dude… but with NEVA EVA, i think its the happy jump and change in genre that she needs. i just pray to god she gets good sales, shoot, i know i bought it online june 6th! lol, and STILL LOVING IT!!! kachumuu is a lil corny cuz it doesnt like get powerful enough, but meh, its still good. i love her latino music, and its just great. but like i said NEVA EVA is just the boost she needs, shes not outta the game just yet guys….shes hangin in there.. just lets support her as much as we can, even if we are half a world away!! AISURU SHIMATANI-SAN!!!!
-Yoroshiku onegaishimasu hitomi-sama


Nathan CHINA May 13, 2007 at 2:48 am

Ennn,how can i say
Hitomi has never turn me down.I like PASIO much .
She really has a good make me warm.
But i am worried about her .
i think so many things are unfair to her,She should get more attentions.

still love


Rinoa March 26, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Hey there Fred. Yeah you did depict my feelings exactly. The single was a pretty good one but it was as if it provided nothing new, which was disappointing after such a fantastic single. Anyhow I am glad you are enjoying her releases! Feel free to join the forum, crossover if you wish to learn more about her! :D


Fred AUSTRALIA March 26, 2007 at 11:16 am

hello Rinoa! I agree too.^^; it’s not that I don’t like PASIO but it’s one of her “exotic” yet a bit disappointing single. I thought at first that the PV was quite connected to the song but I was shocked that it didn’t, sad to say. I like “Destiny -Taiyou no Hana / Koimizu -Tears of Love” single even more.^^ True Blue was a bit nothing new too but I still like it. My expression was like when you heard of the song, you’ll definitely think that Hitomi sang it. It wasn’t out of the ordinary. I like Mahiru no Tsuki even more. XD I like Dragonfly and PRIMA ROSA! ^^ Ever since I downloaded her other singles, I got this craving that I will download all of her singles and albums even though the others are already phased out. x__X But it’s okay, though. XD


Rinoa March 9, 2007 at 9:38 pm

Keep tuned, I am in the process of writing a review about it. I am planning to release more reviews about Hitomi Shimatani in the near future. (P.S. I agree that it’s awesome, actually it’s beyond awesome)


Tenoh Haruka UNITED STATES March 9, 2007 at 9:33 pm

did you guys get prima rosa up here yet? i cant wait to talk about it. ommmmgg!
ITS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! if any of you want the song, just comment me, and il be glad to spread hitomi’s love and message! ciao yoroshiku


Rinoa March 6, 2007 at 9:44 pm

It’s okay. I was just sorry that this single was transformed into a generic sort of single when it had the potential to be more unique and sell better.


Tenoh Haruka March 6, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Well rinoa, i totally agree with you… it didnt make any sense, and im sorry for “throwing a fit” i was only joking. I know it doesnt offend anyone, i just took my twisted sense of humor too far, but yea, your right. Overall, it didnt have any symbolism for anything. and pertained NOTHING to the song. But it is a nice song thou, but the promotion could have been better… ;) ciao yoroshiku


Rinoa March 6, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Gee, chill out. Good for you if you like it. I’m not stopping you into loving PASIO. However this is a review so it reflects my opinion only. Don’t be obnoxious by throwing a fit because I’m not crazy over PASIO like you are. I have felt that this single was a step down from her previous releases which were spectacular and had a higher budget in them.

Also I don’t get your twisted way of thinking. I’m not offending any nationality here. The only person who seems to have a problem is you because I’m not giving a 5/5 onto every song of hers. Oh please. She has sang better ethnic songs and that is why I was disappointed.

I’m a huge fan of Hitomi and have been following her career for years, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be crazy over every single thing she releases because I am not another crazy mindless fan. I try to put my feelings for the artist aside when reviewing a single and give a fair evaluation. Many fans of Hitomi have expressed disappointment onto this single and it’s one of her lowest selling single. It just wasn’t a good release and I’m not going to state otherwise.

Plus the package for this single was definately a low budget thing. The promotional video was close to terrible and with no direction. It did not reflect the ethnic and latin culture but had a magician and a fire scene and which was completely random and terribly boring. The covers also did not reflect any culture but had her wearing jeans. And there was minimal promotion. If avex had taken this single seriously they would have given her a more decent outfit selection and a more decent promotional video which would have reflected the single’s theme more.


Tenoh Haruka March 6, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I DO NOT NEED THIS!!!! noo……iv been with you since the beginning, and all of your reviews have been great and right on the money. but really? i LOVE this song, pasio truly reminds me of my own music. Being dominican, and speaking spanish as my native tongue, this song is truly the link that i needed to introduce other people to hitomi and her voice. the style AND the passion behind it. but to blateantly say that pasio is an irrelevant song. I think not. I favor gate-scena-III and pasio the most BEACUSE of the ethnic feel she has given it. thus proving that she truly IS a complete artist that can sing any genre thrown at her. But seriously man, you offended a couple people with that review. Thou she isnt very known here in this side of the world, i believe that if she would have been, that single would have sold much much more….and by the way, I listen to this song EVERYDAY along with taiyou no wana. so, i dont think you deserve 5 stars on that review… and by the way. “Tsuioku+love letter” is a beautiful song, i agree with you completely, seeing her sing it live in crossover 2 in november was a breathtaking experience….ciao


Celsius005 UNITED STATES February 4, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Thank you for the informative review, Rinoa! I was very eager to listen to Hitomi’s latest single to see – or rather hear – what kind of wonderful installment she had for us. Being unfamiliar with the Latin genre, “PASIO” was actually quite the refresher for me. It had forward motion at the very least. Indeed, I enjoy the A-side of the single much more than the B-side which I feel, unfortunately, lacks climax or any excitement. Despite being more of a monotone ballad than anything else, I’m not convinced that “True Blue” is performed at its peak of potential. Overall I am rather satisfied with how this single turned out!

Thanks again!


eyn CANADA January 15, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Thanks for such a lovely and detailed review of this single, Rinoa. I’m a big fan of her previous single “Destiny / Koimizu” since both of the song are of exceptional quality, but honestly I’m a little disappointed with “PASIO”, especially the PV! :(

The PV honestly did nothing other than degrading the image of the song IMO, it’s so weird and low budget and Hitomi is like wearing this weird devil suit with fire in the background, I’m like O_O when I first saw that. The magician is also out of place as you said, honestly who wants to watch magic tricks within a PV? -.- Overall, it’s just plain weird and really disappointing. The song itself is okay, but definitely not one of her better works. I’m not really a fan of that “lai lai lai” chanting during the bridge.

“True Blue” is a soothing ballad though nothing exceptional, it just flows by peacefully without leaving any lasting feeling.

I really like “Tsuioku” but I haven’t listen to the live version recorded in this single. I bet it must be really good, seeing “Tsuioku” is a great song with nice melody. :)


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