by Rinoa on February 9, 2007 · 2 comments · AddThis

A photoshoot of 'Harumachibito' Side
A photoshoot of 'Harumachibito' Side
Artist: Hitomi Shimatani
Product Code: AVCD-30908
Release Date: 2006.03.15
Debut Ranking: #12
First Press: Access to Special Site
Label: avex trax

2005 was an extremely eventful year for the artist, Hitomi Shimatani. She was invited to a multitude of events, had two concerts, released four singles and two albums. However the following year wasn’t looking as promising as the previous one, since up till March there was a long silence from Hitomi. On the 15th March, Hitomi returned with a double A-side single, which would be a continuation of her ‘crossover’ genre, created back then in 2005.

Not unlike from her other singles, this single’s release date was pushed back, probably because Hitomi was busy filming for the movie Prince of Tennis. For some reason this single had a relatively large promotional campaign and a higher budget than her previous singles. Maybe avex reasoned that Hitomi needed more promotion after seeing how poorly her album ‘Heart&Symphony’ sold.

Consequently this single had two promotional videos and two different photoshoots to fit the theme of both songs. As a first press extra, fans were given access to a special site for a limited period, which featured off-shot photos, wallpapers, clips from a performance and a comment from Hitomi. ‘Harumachibito’ was chosen as the theme song to TV Tokyo’s broadcast of “dai san kai zennihon daigaku joshi senbatsu ekiden” and as music.jp TV-CF song. ‘Camellia’ was a tie-in for “fall woman” March ending theme. Hitomi also had a very busy schedule to promote this single.

Along with this single, Hitomi would release two DVD’s on the same day, one a clip collection and the other one featured her Premium Live 2005. This single would also be her last single to be released in CD only version, since her following singles would be sold in a CD+DVD package too. Since this single had two A-side songs, the cover also featured two sides with different photoshoots.

I felt this single was extremely vibrant and it was no surprise that Hitomi’s costume selection featured bright and pale colours to reflect the mood of the single. She also wore a beautiful pink and white kimono on various performances. Most of her sets featured a lot of flowers and gardens to reflect the rebirth in spring.

This single did not exactly fare so well on the Oricon charts. On the first week it secured its’ position on the 19th place and sold around 7,147 copies only. It had a chart life of five weeks and overall sold 12,023 copies. This was quite disappointing, especially since this single had so much promotion and work put into it.


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1. Harumachibito

‘Harumachibito’ means ‘She who waits for spring’. Once again Hitomi reunites with the well known composer/lyricist BOUNCEBACK, who composes and writes the lyrics for this song. The lyrics are extremely artistic and poetic, especially since they provide a lot of imagery. The theme is about a woman who waits for spring with the hopes to reunite with her lover.

‘Harumachibito’ is a really uplifting mid-tempo ballad. It isn’t exactly what you’d call catchy or extremely memorable but it’s extremely pleasant to the ear. The mellow melody really blends well with her heavenly vocals, making this song really relaxing to listen to. Despite the fact this single was placed in the ‘crossover’ genre, ‘Harumachibito’ seems to side more towards pop and slightly towards ethnic music.

A recurrent aspect of her singles is that most of her songs have a happy mood or theme. Thus it comes as no surprise that this song has such a bright mood despite that the lyrics contain a melancholic tone. I felt that this really created a fresh feeling and symbolised spring perfectly. It also reminds me a little of another single, ‘Viola’.

The promotional clip has the typical ingredients of a Hitomi Shimatani clip. It has loads of imagery,symbolism and beautiful shots of Hitomi looking stunning. However it lacks any form of plot, which always tends to really disappoint me. The setting is rather simplistic. It features Hitomi on her own waiting on various scenes by a river.

Her costume selection varies between simple pale flowing outfits to a Chinese-styled gown and a stunning kimono. In all she wore five outfits and the reason for so many outfits was to reflect the wavering heart of a woman. While the dead trees are shown to depict winter, cherry blossoms are featured to symbolize spring. I also felt that the red flowers at the end of the video reflected the passion and hopes the woman felt for her lover.

In the promotional shooting commentary, it is mentioned that Hitomi is a good friend of her stylist and that to select her kimono they went together to buy one. The boat cut seems to be the director’s favourite, especially since it’s not the boat which is moving but the camera!

Rating: ★★★★½


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2. Camellia

Personally I felt that ‘Camellia’ was the star of this single. The lyrics have been also written by BOUNCEBACK. The lyrics are extremely positive and are a confidence boost to those who are feeling down. Hitomi really enjoys naming her songs for flowers and this is also the case for this song. ‘Camellia’ are small evergreen trees with solitary white, pink or reddish flowers. Also this flower symbolizes loveliness and gratitude.

‘Camellia’ is a perfect example of the hybrid ‘crossover’ genre. It blends techno and classical perfectly. The use of the electronic-sounds mixed with piano was quite clever. I felt it gave a really vibrant touch. This song sounds really like the kind to accompany a fairytale. Also the piano composition was based on ‘Eine kleine’ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The promotional clip is definitely one of my favourite because it’s simply vibrant and so uplifting. The colours used are extremely vivid and bright, creating a very positive mood. The setting seems to emulate a modern Renaissance style. In fact most of the furniture and decorations have a neo-classical style. Remaining loyal to the theme of flowers, Hitomi wears a variety of outfits with flowers in her hair, attached to her clothes or printed on them. Also the rooms are decorated with loads of flowers.

An interesting thing to know is that Hitomi learned the piano specially for the filming of this clip. What was definitely amusing was how playfully Hitomi flirted in front of the camera. My only small complaint was how the dancers had a set choreography while Hitomi didn’t have one in the ballroom cut.

In the promotional video shooting commentary, the author mentions how entertaining this clip shooting was for Hitomi. She clowns around during intervals and poses for off-shot photos. Her stylist, Uchino styled her hair in an upstyle to give her a fresh image and added flowers to her outfit. He also mentions how persistent she was into learning the piano.

Rating: ★★★★★


3. Sky High

It still confuses me why avex has decided to include a song which was included in her previous album, ‘Heart&Symphony’. Personally I felt it was a filler for this single. This song was chosen to be the Intelligence’s Winter Olympics theme song which was organized Torino. Again the lyrics, arrangement and composition was in the hands of BOUNCEBACK.

‘Sky High’ is a relatively upbeat song, though at some points it sounds more like a mid-tempo song. This song is a classic example of the ‘crossover’ genre, with the predominantly techno and classical genres mixed together. It has a victorious tone to it and the lyrics encourage the participants of the Winter Olympics not to give up and uses a lot of imagery related to the sky and flight.

Rating: ★★★★☆



Overall ‘Harumachibito/Camellia’ was a well rounded single, which perfectly depicted the anticipation of the spring season. I felt it started off 2006 with a lot of promise for future gems. Despite the fact that none of the songs stood out, both complimented each other so well that it provided.

The whole package of this single was definately above expectations and extremely well done. A lot of work is evident from this single. The photoshoot and video shooting fit the theme of spring perfectly and Hitomi even learned to play the piano for the shooting of a video clip.

I must say that when Hitomi Shimatani and BOUNCEBACK are united to create a single the results are spectacular and extremely artistic. Despite the fact this single wasn’t a big seller, I’m glad that Hitomi was able to release such beautifully artistic singles, which are so unique and different from the typical mainstream releases.

Personally I think this single is must buy in any Hitomi Shimatani fan’s list. It has so much work and effort put into it that it’s worth every single yen. I really do hope that

Overall Rating: ★★★★½


Camellia Side
Camellia Side
Harumachibito Side
Harumachibito Side

CD Tracklist

  1. Harumachibito
  2. Camellia
  3. Sky High
  4. Harumachibito (Instrumental)
  5. Camellia (Instrumental)

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

Related Posts:

  1. PASIO Hitomi Shimatani's latest single is released in November, with an ethnic and latin flavour. Will it be successful or will it flop? One can only wait and see.........
  2. Hitomi’s Destiny On the 21st June, Hitomi Shimatani's highly anticipated single was released. Many fans and other casual fans were expecting a lot from this single since the preview 'Destiny -Taiyo no Hana-' was aired as the opening song of Black Jack 21. Let's see if this single lives up to its' hype........
  3. Mahiru no Tsuki The title "Mahiru no Tsuki" means Midday Moon. I believe this ballad reflects Hitomi's career. It gives you the feeling of reminiscence and transition. This ballad is simple and delicate in itself. Even if the tone of this ballad is not emotional it is beautiful in its' simplicity. ......
  4. PRIMA ROSA Hitomi's 6th studio album was a successful combination of pop music combined with the 'crossover' genre and exotic music.......
  5. Futari de Iijanai 'Futari de Iijanai' was Hitomi Shimatani's first duet she released as a single. Along with Masayuki Suzuki, former member of Rats & Star this single was released on January 24th 2007. ......

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tenoh Haruka UNITED STATES March 1, 2007 at 10:50 pm

your right, once again. and im so glad i found this forum, beacuse it all makes sence. like, i thought about it, and yes, why IS sky high still on this single WITH heart&symphony.hehe. but yes BOUNCEBACK and Hitomi make a GREAT combination. every song that BOUNCEBACK has composed is sheer genius, and hitomi’s vocals and enthusiasm that is visibly seen in the music videos, is exactly what we dedicated fans are looking for. and we’re glad its there. so, keep up the good work, we can notice it, and we apreciate every bit of it. It is beacuse of hitomi I’m learning japanese, and am planning on making a new life there. so i thank you so much hitomi if you ever read this forum, you have inspired SO many people with your face, your smile, your personality, and most of all your vocals. So, all i can say, is that classic music and techno has been great, and it is this what makes her unique to EVERY artist in the world. and for that, i love her….


Celsius005 UNITED STATES February 10, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Another great review, Rinoa! I’m trying so desperately to learn about Hitomi and her songs but didn’t know where to start. Fortunately you always write extremely detailed reviews for us filled to the brim with information about where the singles stand and what she’s been doing around the time. For that I thank you.

Being a fan of [Destiny - Taiyou no Hana - ] I was excited to read that the songs in this single are also those of her ‘crossover’ genre. “Harumachibito” is soothingly pleasant and the distant piano sounds do very well to add a texture to it. I think this song’s texture is softer, perhaps similar to how a river flows through your fingers when you touch it. This is surely one to tap your foot to. I agree with you – “Camellia” definitely stands out in this single. I do hear the allusion to an older classical piece (which you mentioned) and this made me particularly enthusiastic, for I used to be a frequent listener of classical. I love it.

BOUNCEBACK is a very talented composer/lyricist and I hope to hear more collaborations of the two in the future. I’m shocked to read that this single didn’t sell too well either. It’s very much worth purchasing! I will gladly anticipate future Hitomi articles from you, Rinoa! Thanks again!


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