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Digital single cover
|Single by Hikaru Utada|
|from the album Fantôme|
|Released||November 17, 2012
(see Release history)
|Format||Digital download, DVD single|
|Genre||J-pop, piano rock|
|Label||EMI Music Japan|
|Writer(s)||Hikaru Utada, Paul Carter|
|Hikaru Utada singles chronology|
"Sakura Nagashi" (桜流し?, lit. "Flowing Cherry Blossoms/Cherry Blossoms Sinking") is a song by Japanese singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada. It was released digitally November 17, 2012, with a DVD single released 26 December 2012. The song is the theme to the third film of the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. The single also marked Utada's last release under the then EMI-controlled EMI Music Japan as the label was absorbed into Universal Music Japan as EMI Records Japan in April 2013.
Utada wrote "Sakura Nagashi" at the express interest of the staff for the Evangelion movie series. Although currently still on hiatus, Utada wrote and composed the song due to her appreciation of the movie series, as well as having composed the themes for the previous two Evangelion films.
A website was set up for the song, which also includes the music video, which was uploaded to Utada's YouTube channel on 16 November 2012. The video remained on the channel for 3 days, before being deleted. It was instead replaced by a shortened version of the video. The website states that using the Hashtag "#SakuraNagashi" enters the Twitter user into a prize draw to win one of 1000 CD jacket-sized stickers.
"Sakura Nagashi" is described as "sentimental and beautiful; it is a requiem for life full of literary elegance". The website also has the lyrics to the song, in both Japanese and an English translation by Utada herself.
"Sakura Nagashi" is a J-pop/piano rock song, composed of piano and strings, and in the latter part of the song drums, guitar and synths.
The song does not follow standard song structure, instead opting for a build-up of intensity throughout, before drums and guitars end the piece, somewhat similar to other works by Utada (such as "Kremlin Dusk" from Exodus).
The lyrics imply the mourning for someone beloved, possibly of Kaworu Nagisa by Shinji Ikari given that this song is the ending theme of Evangelion 3.0, played just after Kaworu's death. The latter part of song repeats the opening line (開いたばかりの花が散るのを見ていた ("Watching flowers just bloomed fall"?). There are two instances of English lyrics used, "Everybody finds love in the end".
A music video was created by film-maker Naomi Kawase, who has previously won the Cannes International Film Festival Grand Prix as well as the Caméra d'Or. She stated about the video: "Because we live in a time such as this, I wanted to incorporate the message of the need to value the things that are presently and immediately around us and can be touched." Utada and Kawase met numerous times to share ideas during the making of the video.
The video depicts various images of scenery around Japan, such as fields of flowers, meadows, more industrialized areas and a baby being breastfed by its mother, as well as an umbilical cord being removed after the birth of a child. The video focuses on motherhood in "a universal light". The video itself is one of the few that does not feature Utada, the others being the previous Evangelion movie theme songs also written and composed by her ("Beautiful World" and "Beautiful World -PLANiTB Acoustica Mix- ", respectively).
The video was uploaded to Utada's YouTube channel on 16 November 2012, and remained there for 3 days before being replaced by a shortened version; the full length video was later made available for wide sale digital distribution on November 28 in Japan and on DVD single on December 26, 2012.
A few days after the release of "Sakura Nagashi", Paul Carter uploaded a version of the track to his YouTube channel, which featured him playing the song on piano.
- Lyrics by Utada Hikaru; music by Utada Hikaru and Paul Carter.
- Produced by Utada Hikaru.
- Arranged by Utada Hikaru and Paul Carter.
- Strings arrangement by Utada Hikaru, Paul Carter and Kawano Kei.
All lyrics written by Hikaru Utada; all music composed by Hikaru Utada and Paul Carter.
|1.||"Sakura Nagashi (桜流し)"||4:42|
|2.||"Sakura Nagashi" (instrumental)||4:41|
|1.||"Sakura Nagashi (桜流し)" (music video)||-:--|
|Japan||November 17, 2012||PC download|
|December 26, 2012||DVD single|
|Worldwide||November 17, 2012||PC download|
|US||December 1, 2012||PC download|
|UK||December 1, 2012||PC download|
|Billboard Japan Hot 100||2|
|Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay||2|
|Billboard Japan Hot Animation||1|
|Oricon Music DVD Daily Chart||3|
|Oricon DVD Sōgō weekly Chart||4|
Certifications and sales
|RIAJ PC downloads||250,000+ (Platinum)|
- "Utada Hikaru Sakura Nagashi Now available for download!". EMI Japan.
- "Theme song for Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo Utada Hikaru Sakura Nagashi". EMI Music Japan. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
- Utada, Hikaru. "Twitter / utadahikaru". Twitter ('utadahikaru). Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "Sakura Nagashi Lyrics". EMI Music Japan.
- "Theme song for Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo Utada Hikaru Sakura Nagashi". EMI Music Japan. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "Paul Carter plays Sakura Nagashi". YouTube. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "Billboard Japan Hot 100 2012/12/03付け" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "Adult Contemporary Airplay 2012/12/03付け" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "Hot Animation 2012/11/26付け" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "宇多田ヒカルのヱヴァQ主題歌がアニメチャートを圧倒" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "宇多田のヱヴァQ主題歌が2週連続首位獲得" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "宇多田ヒカル『ヱヴァQ』主題歌でアニメチャート3週連続首位キープ" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "2012年12月24日～2012年12月30日のDVD音楽週間ランキング（2013年01月07日付）". Oricon (in Japanese). 2013-01-07. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "2012年12月24日～2012年12月30日のDVD総合週間ランキング（2013年01月07日付）". Oricon (in Japanese). 2013-01-07. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- 一般社団法人 日本レコード協会｜各種統計. RIAJ (in Japanese). 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2013-10-29.