Ai Otsuka - Planetarium

Friday, May 04, 2012

Ai Otsuka is definitely one of Japanese best-known pop-artists. She composes, co-produces and writes lyrics for her songs and does it all very successfully. In 2005 she released her song "Planetarium", which is without a doubt one of my favourite songs among Japanese drama OSTs. It was featured in the hit-drama Hana Yori Dango and thus became very popular.

"Planetarium" is a very beautiful ballad, with soft and unique melody and delicate vocals. Ai Otsuka has released many other emotional ballads, but I think I like this one the most. It is actually quite a long song, about 5 minutes and 10 seconds, but there is also a shorter version that is about 3 minutes long (though I personally prefer the long one).   
The song lyrics (below) describe how she longs to see someone who has already passed away, and then recalling all the happy memories of the past. Ai tries to wish upon a shooting star, hoping that this person will hear her, but by the end of the song she realizes that no matter how much she yearns to see that person her feelings won't reach to him far away in the sky. 


Yuuzukiyo kaodasu kieteku kodomo no koe
Tooku tooku kono sora no dokoka ni kimi wa irundarou
Natsu no owari ni futari de nuke dashita kono kouen de mitsuketa
Ano seiza nandaka oboeteru?

Aenakutemo kioku wo tadotte onaji shiawase wo mitainda
Ano kaori to tomoni hanabi ga patto hiraku

Ikitaiyo kimi no tokoro e imasugu kakedashite ikitai yo
Makkura de nanimo mienai kowakutemo daijoubu
Kazoe kirenai hoshizora ga imamo zutto kokoni arundayo
Nakanaiyo mukashi kimi to mita kireina sora datta kara
Ano michi made hibiku kutsu no oto ga mimi ni nokoru
Ookina jibun no kage wo mitsumete omounodeshou
Chittomo kawaranai hazu nanoni setsunai kimochi fukurande ku
Donnani omottatte kimi wa mou inai

Ikitai yo kimi no sobani chiisakutemo chiisakutemo
Ichiban ni kimi ga sukidayo tsuyoku irareru
Negai wo nagareboshi ni sotto tonaete mitakeredo
Nakanai yo todoku darou kirei na sorani

Aenakutemo kioku wo tadotte onaji shiawase wo misetainda
Ano kaori to tomoni hanabi ga patto hiraku

Ikitaiyo kimino tokoro e chiisana te wo nigiri shimete
Nakitaiyo sorewa sorewa kirei na sora datta
Negai wo nagare boshi ni sotto tonaete mitakeredo
Nakitai yo todokanai omoi wo kono sora n


The moonlit evening shows its face
And a child's voice is vanishing
Far away, far away, I guess you're somewhere in this sky
In the end of the Summer, we sneaked away to this park we had found
Do you remember that constellation somehow?

Even if I can't meet you, I want to pursue my memories
and show you the same happiness.
Along with that smell, the fireworks open in a flash

I want to live, I want to live and run to your place right now
I can't see anything in the pitch dark, even if it's scary, I'm all right
The countless starry sky is still here now, forever
I won't cry because the sky I saw before with you was beautiful

The sound of your shoes remains in my ears and resounds as far as that path
I guess I'm staring at my own great shadow

It may not change at all but my painful feelings are getting inflated
No matter how I felt, you're no longer with me

I want to live even if it's a little, even if it's a little, right by you're side
You're the one I like the most, so I can be strong
I tried softly reciting a wish upon a shooting star
I won't cry, has it reached you? In this beautiful sky

Even if I can't meet you, I want to pursue my memories
and show you the same happiness.
Along with that smell, the fireworks open in a flash

I want to live, grasping tightly your little hand towards your place
I want to cry, that was, that was a beautiful sky
I tried softly reciting a wish upon a shooting star
I want to cry, my feelings won't reach to you in this sky...

The music video has a very mystical, magical, melancholic feeling to it, just like the song. It features Ai in different sceneries and singing, while we are also occasionally shown clips of shooting stars. I really like the video in its simplicity and beauty, even though it doesn't have anything spectacular in it.
It was quite difficult to find the video in Youtube, so I had to search it in Japanese (which, by the way, is written like this プラネタリウム- 大塚愛 should anyone need it) to find at least some version. I finally found it on someone's channel. I'm not sure if it'll stay uploaded in there for long, but I'll add it here anyways:
[EDIT: the previous music video was taken down, as expected, so I had to replace it with the shorter version with low quality. Too bad.]

And of course there are several live performances, but since I couldn't decide on them I'll add two of them here:

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