I (Ikimonogakari album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 24, 2013
GenrePop, rock
Ikimono-gakari chronology
Fun! Fun! Fanfare!
Singles from I
  1. "Haru Uta"
    Released: April 25, 2012
  2. "Kaze ga Fuiteiru"
    Released: July 18, 2012
  3. "1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~"
    Released: June 5, 2013
  4. "Egao"
    Released: July 10, 2013

I is the sixth studio album by Ikimono-gakari, released in Japan on July 24, 2013. It reached number one in the Oricon weekly charts for the week ending August 5 of that year making it the group's sixth consecutive number-one album. Consequently, Ikimono-gakari became the first mixed group in over seventeen years to achieve six consecutive number one albums on the Oricon weekly chart.[1][2]


The album was released in Japan on July 24, 2013 in two editions. The regular edition (ESCL-4091), had for its first pressings an Ikimono card #036 and a raffle ticket for additional prizes which included a T-shirt and a hand fan.[3] The limited edition (ESCL-4089-90) included a DVD featuring a radio interview "イッキーモンキーのiラジオ" Ikkey Monkey's[a] iRadio, a twelve-sided panorama photo shoot of the Ikimono-gakari members and a special box packaging to display pictures of the three members.[4]

The album contains five previously released tracks; four of which are A-side singles: "Haru Uta", "Kaze ga Fuiteiru", "1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~" and "Egao". A fifth track, "Ashita no Sora", was the B-side to "1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~".[5]

Though to an extent a reference to the songwriters themselves, the title "I" is largely a reference to the fact that the band had intended the listeners to develop a personal connection with the album and to give the impression that the songs were being sung from the listener's perspective. "I" is also significant for being the most common letter of the alphabet in "Ikimonogakari" and (when pronounced phonetically) sounds not only like ai the Japanese for love but also ai the Japanese for sadness, a reference to the emotions the band hopes convey to the listeners.[6]


Love is a common theme throughout the album, referenced frequently in "1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~", "Koiato", "Nannde" and "Renaishousetsu". Whereas "1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~", in keeping with previous singles such as "Kimagure Romantic" and "Natuzora Graffiti", describes the light-hearted and optimistic first love of a teenage girl,[7] the others describe experiences of being broken hearted from various stages of adulthood, a theme which has rarely featured in recent Ikimono-gakari singles.[8] "Ascending to the Capital" is also a common theme throughout later tracks, in particular "Tōkyō" and "Nukumori" where the theme is used as a metaphor to describe the emotions experienced by Yoshioka and Yamashita respectively in leaving their home town in Kanagawa prefecture behind to pursue a recording contract in the Japanese music industry.[8] Various tracks hold individual references to the phonetic reading of the album title "I": "Koiato" references 逢い ai, the Japanese for meeting (often a loved one and often by chance) and "Kaze Koute Hana Yureru" refers to ai the Japanese for indigo.[9]


Tie-ins to media and commercial products.[4]


The release of the album was followed by a tour of Japan entitled "いきものがかりの みなさん、こんにつあー!! 2013 ~ I ~" (To all Ikimono-gakari fans, hello tour! 2013 ~I~). In August 2013, during the build up to the tour, Ikimono-gakari released four trailers on their official site which included: interviews with vocalist Kiyoe Yoshioka, leader Yoshiki Mizuno and recording engineer for the album Toshirō Kai; as well as footage from previous tours.[15][16][17] A total of twenty-five concerts were held, the first concert being held at Sun Dome Fukui in Fukui on September 1, 2013 and the last in Sun Arena in Mie on December 7, 2013. Concerts were also be held at: Yokohama Arena (Yokohama), Sendai Sekisui-Heim Super Arena (Sendai), Osaka-jō Hall (Osaka), Fukuoka Convention Center (Fukuoka), Makomanai Ice Arena (Sapporo), Ehime Budōkan (Ehime), Hiroshima Green Arena (Hiroshima), World Memorial Hall (Kobe), Ecopa Arena (Shizuoka), Nippon Budokan (Tokyo) and Nippon Gaishi Hall (Nagoya).[18] Prior to the tour, it was expected that the tour would attract a total audience of two hundred thousand across the twenty-five concerts.[19]

Track listing[edit]

The source for romanized title tracks is Jpopasia.com[20] (Source for track information: Ikimonogakari Official Site[4]). English translations are unofficial.

1."Egao (笑顔, Smile)"Yoshiki MizunoY. MizunoSeiji Kameda4:58
2."1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~ (1 2 3 ~恋がはじまる~, 1 2 3 ~Love Begins~)"Y. MizunoY. MizunoAkimitsu Honma4:57
3."Papapa~ya (ぱぱぱ~や)"Y. MizunoY. MizunoAkimitsu Honma5:08
4."Koi Ato (恋跡, Mark of Love)"Hotaka YamashitaH. YamashitaYuusuke Tanaka, Takashi Kondō4:43
5."Haru Uta (ハルウタ, Song of Spring)"H. YamashitaH. YamashitaRyou Eguchi, Strings arranged by: Ryou Eguchi, Tatsuya Murayama4:53
6."Mai Sanshainn Sutōrī (マイサンシャインストーリー, My Sunshine Story)"H. YamashitaH. YamashitaMasanori Shimada5:25
7."Nannde (なんで, Why?)"Y. MizunoY. MizunoS. Kameda6:04
8."Ashita no Sora (あしたのそら, Tomorrow's Sky)"H. YamashitaH. YamashitaA. Honma4:46
9."Kaze Koute Hana Yureru (風乞うて花揺れる, Ask for the Wind and the Flowers Sway)"H. YamashitaH. YamashitaKōichi Tsutaya5:55
10."MONSTAR"Y. MizunoY. MizunoDaichi Hideyuki Suzuki3:40
11."Renai Shousetsu (恋愛小説, Love Novel)"Y. MizunoY. MizunoS. Kameda5:03
12."Tōkyō (東京, Tokyo)"Kiyoe YoshiokaK. YoshiokaK. Tsutaya4:23
13."Kaze ga Fuiteiru (風が吹いている, The Wind is Blowing)"Y. MizunoY. MizunoS. Kameda7:43
14."Nukumori (ぬくもり, Warmth)"H. YamashitaH. YamashitaM. Shimada5:41
Total length:73:24

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Japan July 24, 2013 digital download[21] Epic Records Japan
CD (ESCL-4091), 2CD limited edition (ESCL-4089-90)


Chart (2013) Peak
Japan Billboard Top Albums[22] 1 112,082[23]
Japan Oricon Weekly Albums Chart[23] 1


  1. ^ "Ikkey Monkey" is the mascot of Ikimonogakari


  1. ^ "いきものがかり新作が6作連続首位 男女混成グループ17年ぶり" [New Ikimonogakari album becomes sixth consecutive number one album: seventeen years since the last mixed group]. www.oricon.co.jp. July 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  2. ^ "いきものがかり アルバム6作連続オリコン首位!男女混成グループ17年ぶりの快挙!" [Ikimonogakri sixth consecutive number 1 on Oricon chart. A triumph – first time for a mixed group to do so in 17 years!]. music man. July 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  3. ^ "Commemoration for the Sale of the New Album "I"! A Raffle Upon Purchasing a CD at the Counter". ikimonogakari.com. 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  4. ^ a b c "I". ikimonogakari.com. Archived from the original on 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  5. ^ "1 2 3 ~恋がはじまる~ 1 2 3 ~Koi ga Hajimaru~". ikimonogakari.com. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  6. ^ "いきものがかり、新作『I』内容&ジャケ写開 Ikimonogakari Reveal the Contents and Cover of Their New Album "I"". Oricon. 2013-06-14. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  7. ^ "10代女性のリアルタイムの恋を描いた曲を作りたかった Describing the real-time love of a teenage girl". www.oricon.co.jp. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  8. ^ a b イッキーモンキーのiラジオ Ikkey Monkey's iRadio (Media notes) (in Japanese). Epic Records Japan.
  9. ^ "アルバム『I』1万5000字インタビュー Album "I" – an interview of 15,000 letters". ikimonogakari.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-06. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  10. ^ "NHK五輪放送 いきものがかりの「風が吹いている」をテーマ曲に" [Ikimono-gakari's "Kaze ga Fuiteiru" becomes NHK Olympic Theme song]. Sports Nippon. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  11. ^ いきものがかりの「ハルウタ」が主題歌に決定!! [Theme Song determined to be "Haru Uta" by Ikimono-gakari!!] (in Japanese). Conan-movie.jp. February 2, 2012. Archived from the original on February 27, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  12. ^ "いきものがかり、シングル「ハルウタ」4/25発売決定" [Ikimono-gakari's single "Haruuta", sale date confirmed as April 25]. music man. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  13. ^ 神速のゲノセクト ミュウツー覚醒主題歌 [Theme Song to ExtremeSpeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens] (in Japanese). pokemon-movie.jp. 2013. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  14. ^ "いきものがかり、新曲が映画ポケモン主題歌 CD初のポケモントレッタ付き" [Ikimono-gakari new track is the theme song to the Pokemon movie. First CD to contain a "Pokemon Tretta"]. Oricon. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  15. ^ "いきものがかり ツアー予告映像#3はリーダー水野良樹インタビュー、吉岡聖恵『Lips』表紙に" [Ikimono-gakari tour trailer #3 contains an interview with Leader Yoshiki Mizuno. Kiyoe Yoshioka on the cover of "Lips"] (in Japanese). musicman-net. August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  16. ^ いきものがかり 秋ツアーのトレーラー映像第2弾公開中 [Ikimono-gakari release second trailer for autumn tour] (in Japanese). billboard. August 16, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  17. ^ いきものがかり、ツアー予告編トレーラー映像第4弾が解禁! [Ikimono-gakari – fourth tour trailer is released] (in Japanese). OK Music. August 31, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  18. ^ いきものがかりの2013年9月のカレンダー [Ikimono-gakari September Calendar] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  19. ^ いきものがかり 20万人動員の全国ツアースタート [Ikimono-gakari start their nationwide tour expected to be seen by two hundred thousand] (in Japanese). Billboard. September 2, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  20. ^ "Ikimonogakari – band – jpop". Jpopasia.com. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  21. ^ "iTunes – I – いきものがかり". iTunes. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  22. ^ "Top Albums – JAPAN Charts – Billboard JAPAN". Billboard (in Japanese). August 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  23. ^ a b "2013年07月22日~2013年07月28日のCDアルバム週間ランキング(2013年08月05日付)CD album ranking for week July 22, 2013 - July 28, 2013, dated August 5". www.oricon.co.jp. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-07-31.

External links[edit]