1.明日へのキズナ (Asu e no KIZUNA; A Link to Tomorrow)
2. さよなら ソリティア (Sayonara Soritia; Goodbye Solitaire)
French-Canadian singer HIMEKA’s debut single, 明日へのキズナ, was released on May 27, 2009. The single peaked at #28 on the Oricon Weekly Chart and has sold 7,279 copies so far. The A-side is being used as the opening theme song for the anime adaptation of the video game Valkyria Chronicles.
Wow! What an amazing debut we have from HIMEKA. 明日へのキズナ is an inspiring, uplifting rock song that has a certain epic feel about it. Although the guitars and piano in the arrangement are great, HIMEKA’s powerful vocals are what impressed me most. The only thing I’m not a big fan of is that this song sounds extremely formulaic and not very unique. A voice this beautiful should not be made to sound like any other J-Popper on the scene.
さよならソリティア, a cover of the ending theme to the Chrono Crusade anime sung by Saeko Chiba, is a touching piano ballad. HIMEKA’s vocals, once again, sound great and damn, her Japanese is flawless. Had I not known that HIMEKA was French-Canadian and speaks both French and English, I would honestly think she was a Japanese singer. That’s really how awesome she sounds.
Summary: Absolutely blown away. That’s really the only way I can describe my feelings after hearing HIMEKA’s debut single. There’s been a huge trend lately involving multilingual singers in the J-Pop industry and its looks like HIMEKA will not let that trend die out. As I stated before, I just wish her debut single wasn’t so predictable – it was great, but it sounded like every other song out there. There is nothing ordinary about HIMEKA and there shouldn’t be anything ordinary about her music either!
Single Grade: A