Thursday, November 05, 2009

Stereopony's Darker than Black II OP Reaches #4 on the Charts

The OP to Darker than Black ~Meteor Twins~ came out this week. At first, sales seemed disappointing: it entered the Oricon charts at #14. But on succeeding days, it has climbed to #8 and now #4.

EDIT: It ended its first week at #8, having sold 11,906 copies.

That looks to me like a song selling itself, rather than being sold by the anime it is associated with. Most anime songs enter the charts at the highest position they ever reach.

Good work for a teenage all-girl rock trio from Okinawa. Here is the live-action version of the song, Tsukiakari no Michishirube ツキアカリのミチシルベ "Guided by Moonlight":



The group formed in Okinawa in 2007. Vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Aimi (front, below) is from Okinawa and just turned 19. Bassist Nohana (left) is from Nagasaki (Kyushu) and just turned 20. Drummer Shiho is from Okinawa, and just turned 19.

The group was discovered in 2008 after appearing on a Tokyo FM radio station, and was signed by Sony's gr8 records. Their first single was Bleach ED17, "Hitohira no Hanabira."

In 2009, they have had a string of singles and one album: "Namida no Mukou" (Gundam00 II OP2), "I Do It" (written by another Sony artist, YUI), "Smilife" (Yatterman theme song), and album "Hydrangea ga Saiteru." And they did a song for a TV commercial for Lipton's.

Four of their releases have reached the weekly top 20, with the Gundam ED at #2 and their album at #7. In a year and a half, they have gone from high school to rock stars.

The group's leader is Aimi, who writes their songs, sings lead, and plays lead guitar. She is a tiny bundle of energy, at 148cm (4'10"), and describes herself as stubborn and naive. In her official profile, she says she likes running, cats, and manga. Asked what she likes to eat, she replies: "Food." What would she like to try doing? "Skydiving."

Photo below: (l-r) Shiho, Aimi, Nohana.


Bassist Nohana (right) says one of her favorite expressions is "cellphone-dependent," which she is. She says she is extremely shy, but asked what she'd like to try doing, she says: "Playing live in the Budokan." That is the big arena in Tokyo that only very popular acts get to play.

Drummer Shiho (left) says she herself is dark and introverted, and has a fear of heights, but likes to charge forward recklessly.

Here they are in a live TV performance of their Bleach ED, "Hitohira no Hanabira":



Here is the PV.

And here is the PV and a "making of" video for their song written by YUI, "I Do It":



YUI actually went to the studio in Okinawa to work with them. Hey, it's a holiday, too. And her music and theirs are similar.

Discography:

Singles
  • "Hitohira no Hanabira" (ヒトヒラのハナビラ, "A Single Petal") (November 5, 2008) - (Bleach ED 17)
  • "Namida no Mukou" (泪のムコウ, "On the Other Side of Tears") (February 11, 2009) - (Gundam00 season 2 OP2) #2 on weekly Oricon chart (60,096 sold)
  • "I do it" - collaboration with YUI. (April 22, 2009) #13 (9,603 sold)
  • "Smilife" - (August 19, 2009) - (Yatterman theme song) #20 (5,665 sold)
  • "Tsukiakari no Michishirube" (ツキアカリのミチシルベ, "Guided by Moonlight") (November 4, 2009) - (Darker Than Black 2 OP)

Album
  • "Hydrangea ga Saiteiru" (ハイド.ランジアが咲いている, A hydrangea blooms) (June 17, 2009) #7 (22,879 sold)

Hard to say how well their new single will sell overall. It missed the big initial sales that tie-up with a more popular anime can bring, so it probably won't rank very high on this first week's charts. But perhaps its sales will sustain for a while, unlike most anime tie-ups.


Links

English official site
Wikipedia
Japanese official site
Japanese Wikipedia
YouTube search
Oricon rankings page (Japanese only)

Here is the animated TV version of the OP for Darker than Black 2:



For those who read Japanese, here is a transcription of Aimi's lyrics for the song, "Tsukiakari no Michishirube" ("Guided by Moonlight"). From this Japanese blog.

Sorry, no full translation. In general, the lyrics are from the point of view of someone, probably a student, who is leading a very same, sad life and doesn't know which way to go. In the end, she is guided by the moonlight breaking through the clouds, shining on her way ahead, and knows the answer is within her and she has to keep moving forward, painful as things may get, becoming stronger.

This is the full version of the lyrics, as in the first video on this page. The OP only takes its lyrics from the fifth and sixth stanzas, with the moon shining on the way ahead, and makes no mention of ordinary life, so there is nothing that wouldn't apply to Suou, the show's protagonist:

ツキアカリのミチシルベ
DARKER THAN BLACK -流星の双子-のOP

答えのない毎日が
ただ過ぎていく時間が
これから先どうなるのだろう?
わからない・・・

闇よりも深い夜の孤独に
惑わされていた
だれかに今気づいてほしい・・・
ここから逃げ出したいから

窓から見える朝焼け
部屋に鳴り響く音
アラームに起こされて
薄暗い中 家飛び出すよ
カバンの中には
何も変わらない平凡詰め込んで
そしていつもの場所へ

だれかが言った言葉が
気になって 惑わされて
争いたくなんてないから
何も言えない
夢や理想はあるけれど
気持ちばかり先に行って
現実がずっと後ろから
ボクを見てる

ねぇだれか教えて
みんなそうなのかな?
今日が幸せなら
それでいいと思えるって
幼いころには
確かにあったよ
夢を追いかけた
でもそれも遠い記憶

答えのない毎日が
ただ過ぎていく時間が
これから先どうなるのだろう?
わからない・・・
ツキアカリのミチシルベ
雲を越えボクに届け
進むべき道を照らしてよ
今日がどんなに壊れそうでも

何があっても
何があっても
信じてたいから
あの日の遠い記憶 呼び覚ますから
忘れないでね 胸に刻みつけ

答えは自分の中に
必ずあるものだから
あきらめないで
強く生きることをやめないで
悲しすぎて
前に進めない時でも
共に悩み歩んだぼくらに
風は吹く
どこまででも

8 comments:

Serakah said...

Aha no wonder the singer sounded familiar...she sang Namida no Mukou. She's super cute but is she 148cm or 5'10"? 148cm is 4'8" but 5'10" is most definitely not a "tiny" bundle of energy. :p

hashi said...

@Serakah -- Thanks for doing the copy-editing I should have done myself. 148cm is 4 foot ten (and a quarter: 58.27in.)

Katapan said...

Down to #6 today, which is thankfully not much of a drop. I was fairly sad to see its start at #14, and then it kept on rising, which was all the more satisfying. The girls haven't been selling that much after Namida no Mukou, but are finally back to getting pretty good sales, it seems. I don't think the tie-up is the only reason either - and I personally think this single is much stronger than either Smilife or I do it.

This Oricon week exceptionally started one day earlier due to Culture Day, and the sales therefore weren't as high as your average first day (rather than dropping, the sales actually slightly improved on Wednesday). A bad start on the first day should thus matter less than usual. I hope.

For me, this week's rankings have something even more surprising - the charting of the new fripSide's only my Railgun. #6 -> #6 -> #7 -> to #3 today with 3323 copies sold. I'd never have expected that great of a success. Were Japanese people as interested in Nanjou Yoshino's debut as we were, I wonder?

hashi said...

@Katapan -- I think Nanjou's appearance in the PV might have had an effect, lol. But besides the good song, I think the tie-up probably counted, too. However, seeing it rise like that is impressive. I'm happy for them: happy for Nanjou, and happy for sat that he got someone who works as a replacement for nao.

Thanks for the info about Culture Day. I wondered why things were even a day earlier than their usual early.

Anonymous said...

hey i love the darker than black OP by stereopony but i also love the techno beats in ep 3 and ep 1 when hei is fighting or first appearing and i would be really greatful if someone could give me the name of the song please ^^

hashi said...

The song ended up at #8 on the weekly sales chart for its first week, having sold 11,906 units. Pretty good.

AnimeShippuuden said...

Thanks For Sharing!



Regards,
EpDrama

generic viagra said...

haha coincidence, I like darker than black It's a really nice anime and the stereophony rock band specially the theme, hitohira no hanabira, thanks excellent post.