Hikaru Utada Will Release a New Single in Early 2024

Ahead of a greatest hits, Hikki is dropping a new single that will serve as the theme song for a new drama.

Hikaru Utada really said “Can’t Wait ‘Til Christmas” this year.

Even though the First Love phenom already blessed us with the news of Science Fiction, their first-ever (?) greatest hits to celebrate 25 years in the music industry, accompanied by their nationwide SCIENCE FICTION TOUR 2024, Hikki doubled down with the gifts by revealing that a new single is on the way in early 2024 too.

Given Hikaru’s continued as reign as the Tie-In Titan and Soundtrack Supreme, it should come as no surprise that Hikki’s staff issued a press release on Christmas Day (December 25) in Japan confirming that the upcoming song will be a tie-in with Fuji TV’s highly anticipated upcoming series Kimi ga Kokoro wo Kureta kara, or The Gift of Your Heart, due to air on Mondays at 9 p.m. in Japan.

I’m sure you’re wondering: what’s The Gift of Your Heart all about?

From Fuji TV:

Mei Nagano takes on her first leading role in a Fuji TV drama! She shares the screen with Yuki Yamada in a fantastical love story, set against the captivating backdrop of Nagasaki. Their chemistry promises to set hearts aflutter in a tale fueled by a profound and extraordinary miracle! The story takes flight with the protagonist Ame Aihara, who embarks on a destined journey where she must present her all for Taiyo Asano, who she deeply loves. She lacked self-confidence and couldn’t open up to others due to an emotional past. However, one day, upon returning to her hometown of Nagasaki, she reunites with a guy who was close to her heart, and still can’t forget…But, their joy at reuniting is short-lived when he gets involved in an accident. Amidst the sorrow, a presence claiming to be a guide from the ‘other’ world appears with a sudden proposal…”

Mei Nagano is an established, award-winning Queen of Pop (well, acting), and if you happened to see Godzilla Minus One in theaters this past month as I did (which was fantastic!), you’ll already recognize Yuki Yamada as Shirō Mizushima in the movie. He’s cute. We will be watching.

The first listen of the song, as well as the title, will be revealed on January 8, 2024 when the debut episode premieres. (Wait & See, if you will.) It also happens to be Coming of Age Day in Japan, which is a celebration for all those who have reached the age of maturity (20) in the country. What better way to be usher the next generation into adulthood than with a new, sure-to-be-crushingly-nostalgic Hikaru track?

This is Hikaru’s first theme for a TV series in the highly coveted Monday 9 p.m. slot since “Can You Keep a Secret?” for 2001’s HERO. (Yes, 23 years ago!) It’s also been 16 years since Hikaru last contributed a track to a Fuji TV series, with “Eternally -Drama Mix-” being paired with Innocent Love and “Prisoner of Love” going to Last Friends, both in 2008. There have been other tie-ins, of course, including “Hanataba o Kimi ni” for NHK’s Toto Neechan in 2016 and “Kimi ni Muchuu” for TBS drama Saiai in 2021.

Fuji TV offers a few more details on the drama’s official website, adding that the song was “written specifically for this drama, and the show is premiering on the same day as HERO did 23 years ago. Fate!

Fuji TV poducer Daisuke Kusagaya also shared a statement: “We asked Hikaru Utada, who has been delivering cutting-edge music to the world for 25 years since her debut, to write a song that is close to the feelings of the main characters. From the planning stage of this work, I thought, ‘No one but Hikaru Utada could sing the theme song for this drama.’ I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Hikaru Utada for reading the story plot from episode 1 and accepting the offer. The theme song is a song that is perfect for the world view of the drama, and gently nestles into the heartbreaking story. We are very excited to share it with the viewers as soon as possible.”

Brace yourselves accordingly: the new Hikaru Utada era is now loading.

Merry Christmas (Mr. Lawrence – FYI) to all, and to all a Good Night.

Buy all of Hikaru Utada’s studio albums on vinyl right here.

Photo credit: Instagram

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