Music Monday – Sakura Nagashi (桜流し)

Okay, so, Madman has *finally* announced the release date for Evangelion 3.0 on DVD and BluRay. It’s cool guys, not like it was released three years ago or anything. But anyway, to celebrate, I thought I’d feature the ending theme: Sakura Nagashi (桜流し) by Utada Hikaru (宇多田 ヒカル).

For those who don’t know, in 2007 Hideaki Anno decided he wanted to write want Evangelion would have become, if not for budget constrictions and his less-than-healthy mental state. This launched a trilogy (which has since became a tetralogy) known as Rebuild of Evangelion. Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo (known as Evangelion Q in Japan) is the latest of these movies; released in November 2012.
Anyway, back to the song. This is one of the most (if the the most) emotional songs I’ve ever heard. Stylistically, it’s reminiscent of an artist like Adele – sad, soft beginning, with vocals deep in the chest and then as the song progresses more and more power moves in leading up to huge climax, and then a short, quiet outro. Paul Carter’s piano arrangement is genius in its simplicity, and the lyrics are simple yet poetic and powerful. And to top it all off, it sits extremely well with the theme of the movie – love and loss and suffering.
With Evangelion 3.0+1.0 in the works, we can only hope that Hikaru-san comes back for another song – she already came out of hiatus once for the last movie so it’s possible she’ll refuse to do it twice. But her writing and her voice are irreplaceable – she’s not the best-selling artist in Japanese recording history for nothing!

The single is available on the Australian iTunes Store, along with most of Hikaru-san’s discography.