Film, Japanese

I Want It! Shion Tsuji’s “Hoshii Mono” Single

September 10, 2010 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook I Want It! Shion Tsuji’s “Hoshii Mono” Singleon Twitter

“Hoshii Mono” is a common phrase in Japanese that, on its own with no context, is hard to translate into English. “Desired thing,” “desirable,” “wanted object,” “(I) want it!,” all relatively valid translations. But it’s a cool phrase in any case. What is the Hoshii Mono in your life? A spouse? A sweet car? A nice, large collection of game and anime music?

At age 20, Shion Tsuji is becoming “Hoshii Mono” among Japanese teens. She writes her own music and is more than a vocalist: she plays guitar as well. She’s also had a few big hits in her young career: a theme song for Bleach and another for Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Ever on the hunt for decent singer/songwriters, I decided to check out her “Hoshii Mono” single, which serves as a theme song for the Japanese comedy film “Watashi Dasu Wa” (“It’s On Me”). I think you may like what you find after the jump.

“Hoshii Mono” starts with just Shion and her guitar. Eventually, strings and drums join the fray, and we have a pretty standard folk-pop song. Something that would remind you of Michelle Branch’s popular 2001 hit “Everywhere,” except a little slower. Melodically, the song is extremely catchy, and it just makes me happy to hear music being performed by the writer, and the writer is only 20.

Getting to the B-Sides, we have one crazy-upbeat and one super low-key. “Coin Locker Boy” is a fast-paced, joyous rock song about a … locker boy? Well, it’s a song about a boy, and that’s what matters. Were Avril Lavigne Japanese and a little less emo, this is the kind of music she’d write. The other B-Side is an acoustic version of “M/elody,” which is the aforementioned Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 ending theme song. This is an absolutely fantastic recording: just Shion and her guitar the whole way through. I absolutely love this track. It gives Shion Tsuji a chance to self-express more than any other track, I feel.

It’s really too bad that one of my favorite J-pop singers in the last year isn’t as popular as I’d like her to be. If you check out her spots on the Oricon charts, you can see that she is frequently topped by the “sexier” pop idols who wear less and also have less raw talent (and let the guys in business suits create the talent for them). You want to support a decent Japanese musician who has a propensity for lending talent to the anime scene? Maybe this is one artist you should check into. Look up the single via catalog number DFCL-1587.

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