The genius and ability of Sakurai Kazutoshi was evident from their very first single "Kimi ga ita natsu" which showcases his uncanny ability of producing a perfect song structure, infectious melody, and heartfelt lyrics. As Mr.Children's album releases progressed, so did Sakurai's writing skills and to it an added new approach and thinking was always in constant change. The world is blessed with those few individuals capable of such an art that it breathes perfection and awe where others can only hope to ascend to. Sakurai is truly in this light and is with the exception of just a few songs, Mr.Children's sole music composer & lyricist. The pairing with exceptional producer and composer Kobayashi Takeshi makes for a match of perfect harmony and perhaps their meeting was fate calling.
Through the years Mr.Children has undergone only a single hiatus for one year that occurred after the release of "Bolero" and it's ensuing tour. And from that a fully charged and refreshed group returned along with Sakurai's return to his perfected craft, renewed just when the "circle" had perhaps seemed complete…but yet diversity never sleeps and neither does Sakurai's talent. Exploring known facets as well as breaking new ground in music's vocabulary has been his longtime approach and with this a path through The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, among others are evident in his works but never one to just replicate, Sakurai's vision has always been to make it his own.
To say Mr.Children is one of my favorite bands is an understatement as they are indeed my all time favorite band! My first exposure to their music came when a fellow worker had one of their songs playing in his car while giving me a ride home one day after work. After a short while I had to ask who was playing and the rest is as they say history. 🙂 At the time "Atomic Heart" was their latest album and so began my backtracking from there and my goal to acquire all of their works…luckily everything was still in print! Above is my Mr.Children single collection consisting of 29 singles and just 2 exceptions to note are the absence of 2 of their singles: "Replay" and "Crossroad", both of which are included on albums along with their respective b-sides. I do however hope to one day add these 2 missing singles to my collection as then it may be called officially complete although I am currently not missing any songs due to their absence.
Above is my complete Mr.Children album collection which includes all 16 albums. The album pictured furthest down is actually a compilation in tribute to Ozaki Yutaka, another one of my J-Pop loves. Mr.Children performs an inspired new interpretation of his classic "Bokuga bokude aru tame ni." A great thing to note about their albums is that beginning from just their 2nd album "Kind of Love", the overall style of every succeeding album introduces a new aspect and approach to the songwriting and instrumentation is also explored further.
These next 2 photos include my Mr.Children VHS (some of their releases haven't made it onto DVD yet!) and DVD collection. Most are concert releases along with a pv collection (which is hopefully updated one day soon!) and 2 documentaries. "[es]" covers their "1994 Tour Innocent World" & 1995 "Tour Atomic Heart." With a running time of approximately 118 minutes the film provides a wonderful and in depth look at life on the road, recording, songwriting, and of course some great live performances along the way! Mr.Children's 5th single "Innocent World" was just released prior and this single proved to be a landmark one for the band as their popularity and overall success began to soar to new heights. The film's theme song "[es]~Theme of es~" sold in excess of 1.5 million copies!! The second documentary came in '97 with the release of the film "regress or progress '96-'97 DOCUMENT." Though it has a much shorter running time of approximately 47 minutes the film's coverage is perhaps even more in depth than its predecessor "[es]."
Performing at large venues is a constant when Mr.Children goes on tour…selling out the largest arenas in Japan and covering everything else in between. Their "Discovery" tour in '99 saw the release of a deluxe CD package (pictured 3 photos above) which was named "1/42" in its representation of a single show out of the 42 they had performed on this grueling tour. The set includes 2 CDs, an extensive booklet with lots of concert photos, and all of the lyrics from the shows' play list.
With the following pics I was trying to capture (albeit blurry :P) the incredible magnitude of some of these events. Their 2001 "POPSAURUS" tour saw the creation of a large Dinosaur skeletal structure surrounding the stage above as well as a massive tower mid arena (pictured below)! The tour's theme followed the release of their double greatest hits collections which covers their careers up to that point and with that the tour's play list was a sensational one including just about every Mr.Children song that a fan's heart could desire!
Mr.Children's latest concert release "Home Tour 2007" is a beautiful example of premium packaging…
…which includes a clear decorated slip case housing an impressive 2 CD set, booklet, and…
…a thick high quality puzzle which serves as the cover, also separately slip cased with a clear plastic bearing an additional outline design. At first the puzzle appeared to be missing the middle piece in a permanent sense, that piece being the symbolic shape of a "Home" but upon opening the release I found a little pouch labeled "Home" and within it the missing "Home" shaped piece is included.
So with that the complete image of harmony and all that is representative of "Home" can be completed with this nice and very original touch! 🙂
Next are a couple of clips including a live performance of Mr.Children's beloved and timeless classic "Innocent World" along with a pv clip of their incredible song "Namonaki uta" which also served as a drama theme song for the moving series "Pure." For me it stands as one of the most perfectly matched closing drama theme songs of all time with the visuals and overall feel complimenting each other so perfectly and in complete harmony. "Namonaki uta" sold more than 2.3 million copies and is the fastest selling single of all time in Japan reaching the 1.2 million mark in just a single week!!
Many fan sites offer excellent song translations of Mr.Children songs so be sure to check for them! Just to name a few (because I could ramble on forever otherwise!) songs such as "Kurumi", "Shirushi", "Sign", and "and i love you" offer a great look into the brilliance and heartfelt poetic words of Sakurai.
I've selected just a few songs from Mr.Children's catalog and with the help of 808Monkey they've been uploaded in an effort to help spread the love of their songs and hopefully further grow their fan base. Please enjoy these as they're just a few of my favorites! There's so much more to hear!! 🙂
"Hoshi ni naretara"
"Dakishimetai" Total sales: 60,790
"Innocent World" Total sales: 1,935,830
"[es]~Theme of es~" Total sales: 1,571,890
"Namonaki uta" Total sales: 2,308,790
"Kuchibue" Total sales: 724,070
"and i love you"
"Sign" Total sales: 773,990
"Shirushi" Total sales: 740,080
"Tabidachi no uta" Total sales: 368,288 (pending)
I don't have much to say about Mr. Children since I've known them for less than a month… But I wanted to show you this screencap I took during their appearance on last year's FNS Kayousai, just after they finished playing Namonaki Uta. Nacchi was almost crying half of the time they were there. They played Tabidachi no Uta after that. Yaguchi was another one that looked particularly interested. I have the feeling you're not alone liking Mr. Children =P
That performance of "Innocent World" was EPIC. Great stuff…
Never heard of Mr.Children but seems like you're a big fan. Hehe finally got my Junjun scarf but the sad part is that it is almost 70 degrees outside 😦
I've known of Mr.Children for a while now (know some people who are big fans), but never really gave a listen to their stuff. The YouTube links sound good; I'll have to look into them further. Man, that back catalog must be hell for new fans/collectors to track down!
@Strawberry: awww go on, still wear it…even if you get weird stares.
@MorningBerryz: I forgot to leave a comment here when I read through this post earlier. Oooops. Anyway, really enjoyed the write-up, and I think you did Mr.Children justice. To be honest I haven't listened to Mr. Children before, but I'm going to give them a go for sure. Another one of those bands/groups that I've always known about, but never given a try.
Ahhhh….I did see the FNS special with H!P members right up front in the audience and had noted it here but then my computer froze while typing this and when I rebooted I forgot to retype it in. It was an amazing performance and some of the older members appeared to love them too. It was kind of a surreal moment for me seeing H!P members watching Mr.Children! 🙂
I remember going through the Mr Children DVD you sent me, but it was quite awhile ago, I'll make sure to give it another going over when I get back home. I was in Nakano Broadway shopping centre yesterday, they have a lot of second hand collectors shops in there and along with all the H!P stuff there was quite a few Mr Children CDs, as soon as I saw them, I thought you'd love to be looking through all these amazing CDs.
Hello Paul! Live from Japan! 🙂 We're normally not online at the same time due to the large time difference in the UK and Hawaii but now that you're in Japan I think you're just 4 hours behind but it's the next day. I do hope that Mr.Children grows on you!! Ah it'd be great to browse the selection and maybe I'd even find the 2 singles that I'm missing. Sounds like you're traveling quite a bit on this trip. I can't wait to see all of the photographs that you've taken and thank you so much for shopping for me while you're there! 🙂
There's nothing like Mr.Children live! 🙂
strawberrie I hope that you will give them a listen when you have time. Hmmm…it would be strange to be seen wearing a scarf in 70 degree weather but you'll be prepared for next Winter!
This is really great quiet fox!! I'm sure if that if you listen to more of their music you'll fall in love with them too. The songs that I've listed here are just a little peek into their wonderful catalog and I probably could ramble on and on about more of them. 😛 Some of their older catalog is out of print but may show up on auctions sometimes. I do hope that you explore their music further. 🙂
Thank you wu-san! I really hope that they move you as well! I've been wanting to write about them for quite awhile but because they're my favorite band I as a bit hesitant…afraid to mess this up! 😛 Just a few more quick song suggestions would be: "Over" (really will make you think of The Beatles!), "Nishie higashie", "Love", "Kimi ga ita natsu", "World's End", "Not Found", "CROSS ROAD", "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Any", and "Ame nochi hare."
I'll give them a listen tommorow, well starting with the downloads on this blogpost. Hopefully I'll enjoy them 😛
Careful now MorningBerryz, you'll be reciting the whole discography next heheh. but no, I'll be sure to take onboard your suggestions. 27 straight number ones though? that's mad! I guess that's the proof right?
Wow you're up late!!! Isn't it past 3 in the morning there?!! :O Or am I way off in figuring out the time difference? Hmmmm…the wacky thing is that I'd probably eventually suggest their entire discography unless you stop me! Thank you for listening! I hope you enjoy their music as close to my obsession as possible!! 😛 I wonder if some artists purposely don't release their new singles on the same day as Mr.Children as they'd have to beat them in sales to be #1 for the week.
I know, still up…but I'll head for my bed in a minute I think. Yep you're right about the time difference. It was 3am back then. One thing I forgot to ask you in a message,,,how do you keep up with all the comments you reply too? it's quite something you know.
The idea of other artists planning their single releases around Mr.Children is a funny thought XD, but I wouldn't be suprised if it was true in some cases. But then perhaps it's a goal from other atists to be the one to stop the #1 trend.
I hope that you start work at a later hour tomorrow!!…no wait…today!! I think there's a setting in VOX that allows you to have individual notifications sent to your e-mail each time a comment is posted or when fellow Voxers reply to your comments on their sites. Aw I do hope that their streak never ends as unrealistic as that sounds!
ah sometimes I'll get distracted by something, usually j-pop, and the time can just run away without me.
Listened to the songs once through, and I can say so far so good. I like them, and some of their songs have a nice nostalgic quality. I really like the strings on 'Tabidachi no Uta'
Ahh last night it was all Amuro Namie up until bed time! When I wrote this it was all Mr.Children for a few hours! 🙂 I'm happy to hear that they're maybe starting to grow on you! If you can find the lyrics for "Kurumi" it's a really touching song and it's one of my top 10 favorites I think. The more I think about it I really should have included more of their cutting edge songs as well. "Nishie higashie" and pretty much anything from "Shinkai." Their music is so accomplished and well rounded that I guess it would be difficult for me to present every dimension of them but there's so much more that I should have included here. I guess I'm obsessing since they're my favorite band in the world! 🙂
You know, I read your Amuro Namie, but I didn't want to comment because I know very little about her. Again, always impressed with the effort. From what I can remember of listening to some of her songs a while back, her music wasn't my thing.
I'll have to download some of those Mr.Children albums to get more of a perspective, but I'm pretty much comfortable with them already, so I'm sure I'll like them in general. heheh, It's exciting talking about favourite artists, as it shows here :P.
I'm thinking that you may have heard some of her later music as her really early songs are pure J-Pop love!! Please try listening to "Rainbow Moon" which is in that post and if you don't like this song then I'm totally wrong here. And seeing how young she was back then when she sang this…her voice is so incredible and strong!! Haha okay I'm sorry that I'm trying to force you to listen to Amuro! 😛 Ah there's so many more artists that I'd like to discuss and share.
Ah you maybe right, again – much like with mr.children – I'll find some time to give her a better listen. I guess I'll start with ''Rainbow moon'' then. I cant promise anything though 😛
Anyway, I'll be wondering which artists you will talk about in the future.
Hmmmm….I must post something about MAX, Fukuyama Masaharu, ELT, and Matsu Takako in the near future. There are so many artists to cover and I can't seem to find enough time in a day to accomplish this it seems lately. It feels like I'm on a blogging vacation right now and even today…it's already past 5 p.m. and I haven't written a single thing yet! 😛 You're going to love "Rainbow Moon." You have to love "Rainbow Moon." Don't you love "Rainbow Moon"?…I'm trying to hypnotize you! 😛
ah, you should do a post on those artists when you get the time, as I've never heard of them., and would be interested for find out, just like with Zard. Dont worry about needing to post up as fast as you sometimes can. We all understand that life can be hectic.
heheh, speaking of busy, as you know, I still have not got round to listening to Mr. Children and Amuro Namie…But I swear I will soon! maybe tonight if there is time – watching some movies with a friend – or 2moro, as there is no scedule. haha, I have J-pop time scedules lol. how silly.
I think you should slow down whenever you feel like, your posting frequency is already a miracle to me… And I'm still working on getting to know ZARD. I have Mr. Children's HOME tour to watch in the near future too.Great, there's one I know in there! Every Little Thing! I could go a whole day with only "Fundamental Love" ❤ Actually, I've already done that. Other favorites would be "fragile", "Deatta koro no you ni", "Graceful World" and "Forever yours".
I used to try posting at least once every day and sometimes more than once, but I've really slowed down since. Hmm…just not enough hours in a day it seems. Wow that's so great that you have Mr.Children's "Home" concert!! They're so amazing live and I hope you enjoy it!! I wish Zard toured more but there is one great concert video release that we have to watch! This is a great coincidence…I just mentioned Every Little Thing's "Deatta koro no youni" in a post. 🙂 I love early ELT and one of my favorites would be "Here and Everywhere." I haven't followed them recently though but would still like to have a little post about them in the near future. Mochida Kaori even released a single before she was ELT titled "Mou ichido" and I purchased her single back when they appeared on the music scene. It was kind of an indie release I think as I'm not familiar with the record label that it's on. I thought ELT was so much better before the keyboardist left and I was so surprised when he did.
Haha okay today I'm planning on getting more sleep if perhaps I don't write anything new. Last night I didn't even finish replying and had to go to sleep. :O You actually have a schedule?! That sounds like a lot of pressure! If you can get Mr.Children's "Popsauras" concert DVDs that's a great one to watch as it's pretty much like a greatest hits tour. The performances are all breathtaking and the atmosphere is pure electricity!! There's quite few films that I have to choose from for this weekend's viewing…hmmm not sure which one it'll be yet.
So maybe more nap time for you 😛
Ah, yep I have a j-pop scedule, basically for intlwota really, and just time out so I can check up on blogs and read. as for my own posts, I try to have a foundation for my writing, but it doesnt work for me personally. so it's random.
I'm downloading some Mr. Children albums but cant really come by DVDs as easily. But I'll try.
Yes I've been treating myself poorly when it comes to sleep lately. It's a funny cycle with my early working hours and I used to rely on the weekends to catch up on it but that hasn't been the case lately either. I've been reading an article about the necessary amount of sleep that one should get and I know that I must change. Are you required to read a particular number of sites and I was wondering if each author chooses which sites they'd like to read or is it done on a first come first read basis? Hmm…my goal of making you a Mr.Children fan is almost complete! 🙂
yes, a constant lack of sleep cant be too good for the body and soul right?
Ray is very easy going about my duties actually. He outlines the minimum to 2 a week. But since I enjoy the job, I average 4 a day. I usually stick to my own links, the ones I enjoy reading the most. The more new sites Ray discovers, I'll add the ones that I want to keep an eye on, and maybe start becoming a regular their. I read more than I link, as Ray takes up so much of the work, and I take the time out to read a lot of the blogs he mentions. As I've always said, I'm a reader before a blogger. It's just a shame I dont comment so much, as I do want to…but sometimes reviewing on intlwota – as I said before – robs me of the comment I would otherwise leave on their posts. So many good blogs out there now, it's really encouraging. Sometimes I can spend a good 2 hours just reading people's work. sorry, that was a long explanation lol.
ah, your task at getting people to listen to Mr. Children is starting to work on me 😛
Ahh I still ended up only getting about 5 1/2 hours last night. With so many sites out there I don't know how all you manage to keep up with it. Is someone actually looking for them or do people submit them? Hahah I remember some comments were identical over there and here. 🙂 I think you really have to watch Mr.Children live to appreciate them fully and I hope that you can find some concerts to watch. "Popsaurus"!! "Popsaurus"!!! 🙂
for the blog rounds I usually do…the last week or so has been relatively quiet. Ray still manages to put out lots of reviews on his side of things, which again, I think is great. Some people email Ray about their sight, or we'll discover them in some shape or form.
heheh yeh, I remember in some of my early comments, I would just paste my intlwota review here. Lazy eh 😛
hmmm…still in search of those concerts.
But it's totally okay as it must be difficult to think of something more to write as you've already shared your thoughts. With more sites appearing all the time how will everyone manage! How Ray finds so much time to dedicate to his sites is really amazing!
Maybe you should name your new laptop as "Popsauras" in their honor! 🙂 There is a place to name your PC for networking you know… Mine is named Vivian for rather obscure reasons right now… ^^Wired Magazine had an article called how to live on two hours sleep! (But please don't do that!! ^^
How to: Sleep Two Hours a Day
Don't waste time snoozing the night away. Turn your waking day into a
22-hour party by getting your shut-eye polyphasically — in a few quick
bursts. Studies by the Chronobiology Research Institute show that for
those on round-the-clock schedules — sailors, astronauts, gamers — it's
more effective to recharge in short stints. For survival, the brain
will eventually adapt by entering the REM state much faster. The
cumulative result: a higher percentage of the best kind of z's.
The most time-efficient strategy, dubbed the überman (what else?),
calls for a 20-minute nap every four hours. (Warning: The long-term
side effects are unknown. But with only two hours of sleep a day,
you'll have plenty of time to worry about it.) Here are three tips for
streamlining your sleep regime: 1) Invest in an office couch. You'll need to zonk at least twice during an eight-hour workday. 2) Use an alarm (or three). Oversleeping will turn you into a zombie. 3) Stick it out.
The first seven days of deprivation will be sheer misery, but stay on
track. Once you start dreaming during naps — a sign you've hit REM —
you'll begin to feel better.
— Mathew HonanYou know, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a great way to keep track of posts all over the 'net without having to go to each site. The My Yahoo! site I made for you is also a RSS reader. You get brief "headlines" of each post from a , and you just click to go to the full post. So many sites like VOX, Blogger, NASCAR support RSS these days! With My Yahoo! you can really have an MB Central – everything including email from one place.
あ！私のｐｃの名前は秘密だよ！Ah! I love Mr.Children more than any other band! ^-^ There are some really really great songs here if you have a chance to listen to them. Haha I love sleep too much to ever try that although I do go through days of sleep deprivation during the week at times. Sleep is a "hobby" and great interest of mine!! 😛 Sometimes I sleep for 8-12 hours on the weekends! But then I'm a zombie for a few hours. I really don't mine visiting all the individual sites and I know that sounds strange…I'm just weird. 😛
Did you see my Orange Days/Mr Children post today?? ^^I am a big sleep lover myself! It's not good to sleep too long, as you tend to wake up in the middle of a rem sleep cycle… zzzzZZZZzzz I have an electric blanket to keep me warm and toasty on cool nights like we've had lately!Itunes has podcasts (free) from places like Stanford University, and they have world experts talk about subjects just like this. If you had Facebook, you could be a "real" Zombie!! :PDo you have that iPod Nano still? iTunes and the iTunes Store work great on Vista and broadband. If you have an account set up, Itunes with find CD covers for you also. Of course, I expect that you've made yourself a playlist for your Blackberryz by now… ^^
It's so great of you to post those clips and include Mr.Children's theme song "Sign"! I hope you enjoy the drama too! Haha I've been known to sleep up to 12 hours on some days…and yet I then wonder why the weekend went by so quickly! 😛 I'm thinking about finally using my ipod nano as it's still in its original box and pretty much untouched right now. And now that my computer can handle the file system I really should make use of it. Well my Blackberry sadly is still music and video free…someone at work told me that the software that came with it doesn't need to be used in order to load files onto it but I'm not really sure how that's going to work. I'll probably just load videos onto it as I can't really see myself using it for music files.
Nothing like a long, luxurious sleep! ^^ To sleep, perhaps to dream… I have a very active dream life (as you might imagine)! ^^I had a dream recently where I was some mixture of The Last Samurai's Tom Cruise, Shogun character and Musashi all rolled into one! @@ And you, of course, where the lovely Mistress of the Tea House, in beautiful kimono, and exquisite tea implements… (no doubt from Memoirs of a Geisha and the The Teahouse Fire). Who wouldn't want to prolong such a vision?? :)Did you know that in San Diego there is in Balboa Park Friendship Houses of many Countries, including Japan? They often have special events there, including tea ceremonies.And speaking of Musashi, I got my first two Samurai Trilogy DVDs, Musashi Miyamoto and Duel at Ichijoji Temple in today from Netflix! (Plus Lust,Caution! ;)) So, I have a lot on my plate for my days off.You're right, now that you have an appropriate PC to support your iPod, I think you will love the Nano. iPods are more than just players, it's a whole "ecosystem" – iPod, iTunes and the iTunes Store. They all work pretty much seamlessly together, plus you can easily rip the music CDs you choose from your collection. And there is a huge third party lineup of accessories, like cute cases (including a "Kimono" model!) and ways to connect to your car stereo like tape adapters or FM wireless transmittal. <pictures MB singing her heart out in car to her dearest Pod tunes> :)It might be easier just to copy mp3s and videos to your microSD card. I have program that 's totally free to convert from Youtube to Blackberry/iPod Video. HERE I've got some nice videos that way.
Haha I rarely remember dreams and someone once told me that when you wake up tired it can mean that you were dreaming quite a lot…I don't know if that's true though I just tend to believe it. :PI hope the movies are good ones!! You sure do watch a lot of movies! I did purchase a micro SD card yesterday but I haven't installed it yet. I think I'd like to be able to store music videos and clips on it rather than mps's as I really can't see myself listening to my phone. A lot of friends do that at work while on break but I think I'd rather watch something. Hmmm….isn't Youtube a bit grainy though? I was thinking that since I purchase everything that I love that I'd like to somehow put my DVD pvs onto my phone but I'm imagining that they must be shrunk first. I tried using this program called DVD fab platinum and it seemed to change the file okay but afterwards there was no sound! :O I really didn't expect any of this to be easy though so I'm not that shocked. 🙂
They say that dreams are how you process and integrate the experiences you have. I've always dreamed a lot, so I am perhaps not typical. My dreams are Technicolor extravaganzas, so I think that there is a frustrated Cecil B. DeMille or Hitchcock in me!! :PI loved the first two movies, The samurai films. Such great stories and acting! Of, course, now I've blown the book, since it's same story! 😛 Any Ang Lee film is going to be great, so I'll just close my eyes during the naughty bits, OK? ;)Like I said before, I'll help US find just the right DVD ripping software. I love having videos on my video iPods (now the Princesses have that too, with their pink Nano G3) I can take some of the PVs I have out from storage too. 🙂
I’m still using your site for academic research.
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