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Secret Base – Kimi ga Kureta Mono by Zone

November 20, 2014

Zone band

Zone band members

Takayo Ookoshi (大越貴代 Ookoshi Takayo) —vocals, guitar & leader (1999–2003)
Miyu Nagase (長瀬実夕 Nagase Miyu)—lead vocals & guitar (1999–2005, 2011–2013)
Mizuho Saito (斎藤瑞穂 Saito Mizuho)—vocals, drums (1999–2005); took over the leader’s position after Takayo’s departure
Maiko Sakae (栄舞子 Sakae Maiko)—vocals & bass guitar (1999–2005, 2011–2013)
Tomoka Nishimura (西村朝香 Nishimura Tomoka)—vocals & guitar (2004–2005, 2011)

History

Zone was an all-female pop rock band started in Sapporo, Japan in 1999. Although it initially started as a dance group, they turned to an all-female band. Zone has been categorized in a new genre called “bandol” (a portmanteau of the words band and idol).

Between 1999 and 2005, Zone released seventeen hit singles, three full-length CDs, and three DVDs, appeared in commercials, and had their own television special, in addition to attending high school. They all graduated.

Zone officially disbanded on April 1, 2005, after playing their final concert at Nippon Budokan. On April 13, their greatest hits album E: Complete A Side Singles was released. The album debuted at number 1 with first-week sales of about 98,000 copies, becoming their first number-one album on Japanese Oricon charts.

In February 2011, Miyu, Maiko, and Tomoka announced they would be reuniting (without Mizuho) in honor of the 10th anniversary of “Secret Base.” The group released Zone Tribute in August and made several concert appearances. In November, Tomoka announced she would be leaving the band because of health reasons. Miyu and Maiko continued as a duo, and released “Treasure of the Heart” in June 2012.

In February 2013, Miyu’s contract with RunTime Music Agency was dissolved due to the company claiming ‘immoral behaviour’ and ‘frequent non-fulfillment of duties’.[3] On March 2, Maiko posted on the official website for RunTime Entertainment that she would be ending ZONE. The group has officially ended on March 2, 2013.

Music

Zone’s music has been used in the 2003 Astro Boy series (opening theme, “True Blue” and second ending theme, “Tetsuwan Atomu: ballad version”) and the Japanese release of Ice Age (theme song, “Hitoshizuku”).

“Shiroi Hana” was used as the theme song to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in Japan.

“Secret Base (Kimi ga Kureta Mono)” was covered and used as the ending theme to the anime Kyō no Go no Ni and Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day by the voice actors of the respective anime.

Zone (2001)

Two remaining members of Zone (2012)

Anohana Cast: Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami (lyrics)

mokona (http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/13167094)
冥月 (http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/17305467)
洛 (http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/12839579)
Mes (http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/21737824)

“Secret Base” through the years

“Secret base”, one of their most popular songs, has been covered by many artists over the years. Which version is the best? It is not very clear. Anohana cast did a great job covering the song, but they somewhat overdid it. There is something special, wabi-sabi quality in the original… I also like the cover by Mes, mokona, 冥月, and 洛, which is probably my favorite version because it is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between the original and Anohana cast. Each voice sounds more distinct than the original, and they complement each other well. I especially like the part around 3:54 where all instruments stop, except for the violin, and they all sing together with minimal accompaniment for a brief moment🙂

8 comments

  1. There’s also a cover by SCANDAL, but I can’t find a good video to show it.

    Hmm, this is quite difficult. I’ve been accustomed to the AnoHana version. At first, I loved it so much, mainly because the show left a strong impression on me as each episode would close. After a while, though, it lost its charm. I agree that the seiyuu have overdone it. In general, they tend to over-interpret the songs, which isn’t always a good thing, especially if the song is one that evokes emotion. Instead of being touched, in the long-run I end up regarding their rendition as an “anisong I used to like so much”. Still, I think of the song and the anime with fondness and don’t mind of listening to it every now and then, precisely because it was an anisong I emotionally invested on so much.

    But I voted the niconico cover among the choices, because it was “just right”.🙂


    • I see, an “anisong I used to know” – we should make a recording! haha

      Good! We selected the same version! Yay!🙂


      • I’m curious since I see that you’re very passionate on this topic. Do you sing a lot?


        • I used to compose music a while ago and tried playing guitar and piano. As for the singing… Oh yeah, I sing all the time! Here is one of my recent recordings!

          Actually, I am too shy to sing haha I should try singing sometimes though! What about you?


          • Wow. I had that feeling that you actually have background on music, or in making music.

            Lol. You got me! >.< I really thought you sang that song. Hahaha.

            I only have a vague idea with the specifics, especially in the terminologies. And I can't read notes at all.😦 I tried learning the guitar, but I gave up since it seems that I'm not good with my fingers. I'm interested to try the piano, though. Drums are the only instrument I can play, but at the moment I still suck at it, despite being acquainted with the instrument two years ago.


            • It is fine to give up on some instruments. If you are not doing it professionally, choose something you really enjoy. You may not be great at it, but the key is enjoyment of the process. You might be naturally good at some instrument, but it might be very boring to practice it. Or you might not be that great, but really really enjoy playing another instrument, so go for it! Of course, being really good at something may heighten your enjoyment, but it is not necessarily the case. Personally, I had to make a choice a while ago to focus on something – I had too many hobbies because I have almost infinite curiosity. Thus, I had to choose what is really important to me, and what would give me the most joy (somewhat of a similar dilemma occurred in my career). Also I had to question why I am doing all these activities. What do I want to achieve? What would practicing several hours a day yield? Is the result worth the effort? By doing such introspection, it is possible to obtain a more clear focus. Sometimes it will result in you abandoning previous activities or focusing on them with an even greater vigor!


              • Thanks for the advice! That’s very kind of you.😀

                I have this love for drums, which, as I said, I’m not really great at playing. But I’m not really aiming to become a professional drummer. I have great joy just being able to play it, of course, with bandmates. Knowing this much, I might not devote much of my time in practicing the instrument, which is still okay with me as it is a matter of personal contentment.


                • That’s great! Have fun playing drums!🙂



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