Hikari (song)

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"Hikari"
Single by Hikaru Utada
from the album Deep River
Released March 20, 2002
Format CD, Regular Single
Genre J-pop
Length 5:02
Label EMI Music Japan
Writer(s) Hikaru Utada
Producer(s) Akira Miyake, Hikaru Utada and Teruzane Utada (1)
Russell McNamara (2)
Alex “Godson” Richbourg (3)
Hikaru Utada singles chronology
"Traveling"
(2001)
"Hikari"
(2002)
"Sakura Drops/Letters"
(2002)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Hikari" (Japanese: ?, "light") is Hikaru Utada's 10th Japanese-language single (12th overall), and is also her 3rd single on the Deep River album. Its release date was March 20, 2002.[1] It is best known as the main theme song for the Japanese release of the Square (now Square Enix) and Disney Interactive Studios video games Kingdom Hearts,[2] Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Utada was the only singer that Tetsuya Nomura, the director of Kingdom Hearts, had in mind for the Kingdom Hearts theme song.[3] This also marked the first time Utada had produced a song for a video game.

The English-language version of the song, titled "Simple and Clean", was used in the English and Final Mix releases of Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. Although the two songs share a similar melody and background music, the meaning of the lyrics are changed significantly in the English version. "Simple and Clean" was also used in both Japanese and English-language releases of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Utada stated that she couldn't get the same meaning she wanted to portray in "Simple and Clean" as in "Hikari", so changed the chorus melody to the one used in "Uso Mitai na I Love You", also on the Deep River album. Both "Simple and Clean" and its remix, "Simple and Clean -PLANITb Remix-" were later released as the B-side of her single COLORS.

"Hikari" was performed during Utada's two date concert series Wild Life in December 2010.[4]

In early 2011, YouTube had decided to ban this soundtrack due to licensing issues.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Hikaru Utada. 

No. Title Arranger Length
1. "Hikari (光)"   Akira Miyake, Hikaru Utada and Teruzane Utada 5:02
2. "Hikari (PLANITb Remix)"   Russell McNamara 5:46
3. "Hikari (Godson Mix)"   Xaiver “X-Man” Smith 4:39
4. "Hikari (Original Karaoke)"     5:01

Music video[edit]

The music video (directed by Kazuaki Kiriya) for "Hikari" is a fairly simple one. Utada washes dishes, and enjoys a glass of water through its course. Utada, in an interview, explains how she enjoys washing dishes at home as well, which contributed to her making this music video.[citation needed]

"Actually we were to shoot the PV of 'Hikari' with him (Kazuaki Kiriya) but it didn't come true due to his scheduling conflicts at the last moment and that's why we requested Kiriya urgently to shoot that dish-washing video." [5]

(They were able to reach Kazuaki Kiriya eventually, but they had no time to shoot a complex video.)

Reception[edit]

The single proved to be very popular. It hit #1 on Oricon charts for a lengthy three weeks, selling 270,370 in its debut week.[6] By August 2002, it had sold over 598,130 copies in Japan.[3] In 2008, Guinness World Records listed it as the best-selling video game theme song in Japan.[6]

Charts[edit]

"Hikari" - Oricon Sales Chart (Japan)

Release Chart Peak Position Sales Total Chart Run
March 20, 2002 Oricon Daily Singles Chart 1
Oricon Weekly Singles Chart 1[7] 598,130 copies 13[7]
Oricon Yearly Singles Chart 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RELEASE - Single 光". Toshiba-Emi. Retrieved May 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ IGN Staff. "Hikaru Utada Sings Kingdom Hearts Theme". IGN. Retrieved May 13, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b Stephen Coleman. "Square, Disney and Japanese Pop Star Utada Hikaru Collaborate on Kingdom Hearts". IGN. Retrieved May 13, 2007. 
  4. ^ "宇多田ヒカル一時休止前ラスト公演で感涙&Ust新記録樹立" (in Japanese). Natalie. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Message from Hikki "びーでーおー"". Toshiba-EMI. Retrieved July 26, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b Craig Glenday, ed. (2008-03-11). "Record Breaking Games: Role-Playing Games". Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. Guinness World Records. Guinness. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-904994-21-3. 
  7. ^ a b "CDTV PowerWeb! : 宇多田ヒカル". Tokyo Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2007. 

External links[edit]