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[J-Review] Kingyo Hanabi – Ai Otsuka February 2, 2009

Posted by kingyohoshikuzu in Ai Otsuka.
The Kingyo Hanabi promo picture

The Kingyo Hanabi promo picture

Artist: Ai Otsuka

Genre: Pop

Released : August 18, 2004

Copies Sold: 50,000 limited edition

Label: avex trax

Highest Position: #3

My Ranking: ★★★★

Kingyo Hanabi Ai’s fifth release with avex trax.  The single came in two formats, CD and CD+DVD.  The limited edition copies contained a special picture book illustrated by Ai herself.


  1. Kingyo Hanabi
  2. Koko Natsu Bakeeshon
  3. Kingyo Hanabi (instrumental)
  4. Koko Natsu Bakeeshon (instrumental)

Kingyo Hanabi: ★★★★

Kingyo Hanabi is and will remain one of my favourite songs.  The very start of the song makes me think of the night scene in the  movie My Neighbor Totoro.  Throughout the song these noises play along with a very low drum beats.  Ai’s vocals are wonderful in this song, which calms me as I worried when I heard Hoshikuzu on the Happy Days single.    The lyrics are really beautiful, they tell the story of Ai falling in love and having a Goldfish swimming in love in her heart.  She sings about how happy it is, unknowing it only has one summer to live. I love this song, the instruments and vocals are great.  The lyrics are wonderful.

The PV for Kingyo Hanabi is also very beautiful in begins with Ai seated in the bottom of the ocean singing.  The rest of the PV is shots of Ai on a small island with a Japanese firework and on very interesting shot of Ai reaching for a man she likes and him walking away. My favourite shot, which is also the cover of the single, is of Ai in the ocean with the fireworks falling around her.   To me the PV tells a similar story to that of the little mermaid. Ai’s kimono fabric skirt is worn in the PV.  I believe when she is in the ocean she is the passing away goldfish having only lived one summer, just like her love for the man.    I came to this theory by watching and seeing that not once i the ocean do we see her legs.  At the end of the PV in my opinion  Ai the goldfish passes away, freezing in one position.

Coco Natsu Vacation: ★★★

Ai, as normal, must contrast her tracks. This song is very happy and not serious, it has a strong tropical vacation theme.   This song kind of bores me a bit after listening to it a lot. Hearing the greatness of Kingyo Hanabi I was expecting a good B-side, just hoping it would be better then most of Ai’s others.  Unfortunately it didn’t happen to this song.  But saying that this song is a very good B-side by Ai’s standards.  Although it becomes tedious after a few play throughs it’s good for a one time listen now and then.

Summary: ★★★★

I loved this single and even though the B-side wasnt fantastic the single is still Ai’s best out of her previous releases.  Kingyo Hanabi has beautiful lyrics, PV and set up,  Coco Natsu Vacation is an interesting song  for one time listening.  The picture book illusrated by Ai makes the single even more interesting.  I love this single, it’ll be hard to top.



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