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"Dear Diary" is a song by Japanese recording artist Namie Amuro, released as a double A-side single with her track "Fighter". It was released on October 26, 2016 via Dimension Point and Avex Trax as Amuro's seventh consecutive non-album single, and is the theme song to the Japanese drama–horror film, Death Note: Light Up the New World (2016). It was distributed with "Dear Diary" in two physical formats—standard CD and CD/DVD bundle. "Dear Diary" was written, composed and produced by Matthew Tishler, Felicia Barton, Aaron Benward, and frequent collaborator Tiger. Musically, the recording is a pop ballad that lyrically focuses on the films title and recurring theme; furthermore, it delves into themes of empowerment and rising from pain and sorrow.

"Dear Diary"
A close-up of a Japanese woman (Namie Amuro), closing her eyes and in front of a beach front. She is wearing a brown-coat dress, along with wearing her hair down and holding her head.
CD only cover that commercializes "Dear Diary".
Single by Namie Amuro
from the album Finally
A-side"Fighter"
ReleasedOctober 26, 2016
Format
Recorded2016
GenrePop
Length3:31
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Namie Amuro singles chronology
"Hero"
(2016)
"Dear Diary" / "Fighter"
(2016)
"Just You and I"
(2017)
Digital A-side cover

Upon its release, "Dear Diary" received generally favorable reviews from music critics. Majority of them commended the production and songwriting, alongside praising the singers vocals. Commercially, both recordings experienced success in Japan, peaking at number three on the daily and weekly Oricon Singles Chart and on component Billboard charts in that region. An accompanying music video was directed by Ryouhei Shingu, whom previously worked with Amuro on her July 2016 single "Hero"; it depicts her on a beach front, gazing at large glass bottles that encompass several houses, people and fauna. In order to promote the track, "Dear Diary" was broadcast on several Japanese television shows and was included on the singers 2016–17 Live Style tour in Japan.

Background and compositionEdit

In December 2015, Amuro returned to releasing non-album singles with "Red Carpet";[1] this was after distributing her eleventh studio album Genic in June that same year.[2] Alongside this, the singer released the singles: "Mint" (May 2016),[3] and "Hero" (July 2016),[4] with the latter being used as the official theme song to the NHK broadcasting of the Summer Olympics and Paralympics.[5] In August, Amuro confirmed her involvement with the Japanese drama–horror film, Death Note: Light Up the New World, based on the anime and manga series of the same name.[6] Originally, Takahiro Sato, the films co-producer, wanted to enlist Western musicians to provide songs to the movie, which he used Red Hot Chili Peppers or Lenny Kravitz as examples. However, knowing that the series was already popular around the globe, Sato decided to enlist Amuro in order to get the audience to recognized the "power of foreign artists" and also promote her work overseas.[7] Amuro herself expressed her gratitude for participating in the film's soundtrack.[7]

The singer revealed the titles to be "Dear Diary" and "Fighter", which were served as double A-side singles; this is her first to do so since 2014's "Big Boys Cry/Beautiful".[8][9] The former track was allocated as the film's theme song, whilst "Fighter" was used as the insert track—a term used in Japan for a recording placed randomly throughout the film.[8] Additionally, "Fighter" served as the theme tune for the film's spin-off series, Death Note: New Generation, which premiered on streaming service Hulu.[10]

"Dear Diary" was written, composed and produced by Matthew Tishler, Felicia Barton, Aaron Benward, and frequent collaborator Tiger.[11] Furthermore, Emyli provided background vocals to both this track and "Dear Diary". The tracks were recorded by Wataru Namifusa at LAB Recordings in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.[11] According to Amuro's website, "Dear Diary" was described as a pop ballad that lyrically intertwines with the films title and recurring theme.[12] Expanding on this, Japanese critic Kanako Hayawaka noted that the track emphasized a "painful" delivery by Amuro, accompanied by a gentle piano riff, and showcased a theme change from "sadness to strength".[13] The critic also believed that both "Dear Diary" and "Fighter" shared similar themes but were expressed in different styles of music.[13] Additionally, a member at the website Arama Japan believed the lyrics delve into an "answer [of] humanity’s hesitation towards conflict."[14] Although its recorded in Japanese, portions of the track includes English language.[11]

Release and critical receptionEdit

A snippet of "Dear Diary" was published through a trailer of the film.[15] On September 26, 2016, the entire track was leaked online in low quality.[16] Subsequently, it was released on October 26, 2016 via Dimension Point and Avex Trax as Amuro's seventh consecutive non-album single, following "Hero". Additionally, the single was distributed as a double A-side single with "Fighter" in two physical formats: a standard CD, and CD/DVD bundle.[11][17] Both formats include the tracks and their instrumental versions, whilst the DVD set features both music videos.[11][17] The CD artwork is an outtake shot from the music video of "Dear Diary", whilst the CD and DVD cover, representing "Fighter", features Amuro in dark clothing and make-up, surrounded by black feathers. A limited edition cover, featuring Amuro and the film's mascot character Ryuk, was published throughout selected Japanese retails and at her 2016–2017 Live Style concert venues.[18] Two bonus posters were distributed through Japanese store CDJapan, for those whom pre-ordered the CD and DVD bundle versions.[19][20] Promotional pop-up cards were made available at her Live Style venues, which incorporated an image of Amuro and promoted aesthetics of Halloween 2016.[11]

The recording received generally favorable reviews from music critics. After the track was leaked online on September 26, 2016, a staff member from SBS PopAsia mentioned that he/she were "over the moon" of the production and its inclusion in the film.[16] Additionally, Japanese critic Kanako Hayawaka enjoyed the song, commending its lyrical content and the composition; she labelled it a "beautiful song".[13] An editor at Excite.co.jp described both tracks as "charm[s]".[21] Masahiro Higashide, whom plays one of the films protagonist characters, Tsukuru Mishima, expressed his enjoyment of the track upon its release.[7]

Commercial performanceEdit

Commercially, "Dear Diary" experienced success in Japan. On October 26, 2016, both singles entered together at number four on the daily Oricon Singles Chart, the fourth highest debut of that week.[22] The following day, it slipped to number six but rose to number three on October 29, selling an additional 4,553 copies in that region.[23][24][A] On November 1, the single dropped from number three to number 21, one of her quickest falls.[25] Based on the first seven-day statistics, "Dear Diary" and "Fighter" opened at number three on the weekly Oricon Singles Chart with over 45,000 units sold, making this Amuro's highest first-week sales since "Go Round" / "Yeah-Oh!" in 2012.[26][27][B][29] By the end of October 2016, Oricon ranked the singles at number 15.[30] It slipped to number 14 the following week, selling 8,911 units, and fell again to number 22 with 3,985 sales.[31][32] Separately, "Dear Diary" experienced success on component charts by Billboard Japan. Before its initial release, it debuted at number 60 on the Japan Radio Songs chart, the 11th highest debuting track on that chart.[33] It rose to number 15 the following week, and also debuted at number 7 and number four on the Japan Hot 100 and Japan Top Singles Sales chart.[34][35][36]

Music videoEdit

An accompanying music video was directed by Ryouhei Shingu, whom previously worked with Amuro on her July 2016 single "Hero".[37] It opens with a diary and quill on a desk, with the pages being blown by a gust of wind. The scene turns black and changes to Amuro on a beach front, before dawn, surrounded by large drift wood with lanterns. Several intercepting shots include the beach waves going towards shore and Amuro singing the track. By the first chorus, a distance shot of the ocean features glass bottles that are housing several homes, people and fauna. As the song progresses, the sun starts to rise, and various angles of the people inside the bottles express their sadness. As the final chorus opens, the bottle tops melt away and burst out a large rift of water below a newly-risen sun and multi-colored clouds. The visual ends with Amuro gazing in the distance, and turning to the camera.[37] A promotional teaser of the video, alongside a snippet of "Fighter", was uploaded on Amuro's YouTube channel.[38]

PromotionEdit

In order to promote the single, several Japanese television shows broadcast special commemorations for Amuro, the accompanying film and the respective music videos to "Dear Diary" and "Fighter"; on October 26, Music On! Japan TV hosted a visual special, including "Dear Diary" and "Fighter" and her previous releases.[39][40] Likewise, Space Shower TV premiered a music video special dedicated to the two singles and footage from the Death Note movie.[41] The single was included on the singer's 2016–17 Live Style tour in Japan; it was revealed two months prior in August 2016.[42]

Track listing and formatsEdit

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the single's CD and DVD release.[17]

Recording and management
Credits
  • Namie Amuro – vocals
  • Matthew Tishler – songwriting, production
  • Felicia Barton – songwriting
  • Aaron Benward – songwriting
  • Tiger – songwriting
  • Ats – arrangement, keyboards, programming
  • Sayuri Yano – string arrangements
  • Tomoko Jono – violin
  • Naoko Ishibashi – violin
  • Akane Irie – violin
  • Yuko Kajitani – violin
  • Naotaka Tamura – violin
  • Ayumu Koshikawa – violin
  • Ken Okabe – violin
  • Daisuke Yamamoto – violin
  • Akiko Shimauchi – violin
  • Shoko Miki – viola
  • Sayo Takimoto – viola
  • Matsutami Endo – cello
  • Azura Haraguchi – cello
  • Masatake Osato – string recording engineer
  • Ryoma Mokonuma – assistant engineer
  • Yuki Iwabuchi – music creative director
  • Emyli – background vocals, vocal director
  • Ryouhei Shingu – music video director
  • Tatsuya Fukuda – art direction, design
  • Wataru Yoshioka – design
  • Yasunari Kikuma – photographer
  • Akemi Nakano – hair & make-up
  • Satomi Kurihara – hair & make-up
  • Akira Noda – stylist

ChartsEdit

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
Japan[11][17][43] October 26, 2016
  • CD
  • DVD
  • limited CD

SalesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ) None 63,974[26]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The charts provided by the Oricon Style are dated two days prior; although "Dear Diary" / "Fighter" reached number three on October 27, it is accessible/archived on October 29, 2016.[24]
  2. ^ "Go Round" / "Yeah-Oh!" debuted at number four on the Oricon Singles Chart with 46,983 sales sold.[28]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Released on December 2, 2015;
    • Amuro, Namie (2015). Red Carpet (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99028.
    • Amuro, Namie (2015). Red Carpet (CD and DVD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99027/B.
  2. ^ Amuro, Namie (2015). Genic (CD album; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99026.
  3. ^ Released on May 18, 2016;
    • Amuro, Namie (2016). Mint (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99034.
    • Amuro, Namie (2016). Mint (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99033/B.
  4. ^ Released on July 27, 2016;
    • Amuro, Namie (2016). Hero (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99036.
    • Amuro, Namie (2016). Hero (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99035/B.
  5. ^ Japan Today Staff (March 25, 2016). "Namie Amuro's 'Hero' selected as NHK's Rio Olympics theme song". Japan Today. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  6. ^ "デスノート、安室奈美恵が主題歌と劇中歌担当!"信念への真っ直ぐな想い"歌う". Natale.mu. August 24, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Takazawa, Miharu (October 26, 2016). "安室奈美恵、新曲 『Dear Diary / Fighter』で歌う「自分の信念への真っ直ぐな想い」" (in Japanese). BIGLOBE. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "新曲「Dear Diary」「Fighter」、映画『デスノート Light up the NEW world』主題歌&劇中歌決定!". Namie Amuro's official website. September 5, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  9. ^ Released on March 6, 2013;
    • Amuro, Namie (2013). Big Boys Cry/Beautiful (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCD-48603.
    • Amuro, Namie (2013). Big Boys Cry/Beautiful (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVJSG40708.
  10. ^ "Huluオリジナルドラマ『デスノート NEW GENERATION』スペシャル映像". Death Note's official YouTube channel. September 14, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Amuro, Namie (2016). Dear Diary/Fighter (CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99040.
  12. ^ "Dear Diary / Fighter". Namie Amuro's official website. October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  13. ^ a b c Hayawaka, Kanako (October 26, 2016). "Dear Diary / Fighter – Official Review" (in Japanese). Dimension Point. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  14. ^ Arama Japan Staff (October 19, 2016). "Namie Amuro wishes to make the world a better place in new "Dear Diary" PV preview". Arama Japan. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "映画『デスノート Light up the NEW world』本予告". Death Note's official YouTube channel. September 4, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Namie Amuro's "Dear Diary" is here!". SBS PopAsia. September 26, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e Amuro, Namie (2016). Dear Diary/Fighter (CD and DVD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99039/B.
  18. ^ Arama Japan Staff (September 24, 2016). "Namie Amuro Serves Face on Covers for New Single "Dear Diary/Fighter"". Arama Japan. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "Dear Diary / Fighter – Namie Amuro CD Maxi". CDJapan.co.jp. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "Dear Diary / Fighter – Namie Amuro CD and DVD Maxi". CDJapan.co.jp. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  21. ^ "安室奈美恵、両極のアプローチで魅せる最新作『Dear Diary / Fighter』" (in Japanese). Excite.co.jp. November 15, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  22. ^ "Oricon Daily CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. October 26, 2016. Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  23. ^ "Oricon Daily CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. October 27, 2016. Archived from the original on October 27, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  24. ^ a b c "Oricon Daily CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. October 27, 2016. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  25. ^ "Oricon Daily CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. November 1, 2016. Archived from the original on November 2, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "Hey! Say! Jump、デビュー以来全シングル通算17作目の首位獲得!". Rockin' On 69 (in Japanese). November 1, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  27. ^ "Go Round/Yeah-Oh! / Namie Amuro" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. March 13, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  28. ^ "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" [Oricon Ranking Information Service 'You Big Tree']. Oricon. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  29. ^ "安室奈美恵は映画『デスノート』主題歌リリース". T-Site (in Japanese). October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  30. ^ a b "Oricon Monthly CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. October 2016. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  31. ^ "Oricon Weekly CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  32. ^ "Oricon Weekly CD Singles Chart" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. November 21, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  33. ^ "Japan Radio Songs Chart". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). October 31, 2015. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  34. ^ a b "Japan Hot 100 Chart". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  35. ^ a b "Japan Top Single Sales Chart". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  36. ^ a b "Japan Radio Songs Chart". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  37. ^ a b "Namie Amuro – "Dear Diary" Music Video (Short ver.)". Namie Amuro's official YouTube channel. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  38. ^ "Namie Amuro – "Dear Diary"/"Fighter" Music Video (Teaser)". Namie Amuro's official YouTube channel. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  39. ^ "ミュージック・ジャパンTV「安室奈美恵スペシャル" (in Japanese). Namie Amuro's official website. October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  40. ^ "安室奈美恵特集" (in Japanese). Music On! TV. October 26, 2016. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  41. ^ "スペースシャワーTV Plus 「安室奈美恵 スペシャル」" (in Japanese). Namie Amuro's official website. November 2, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  42. ^ "2016–17 Live Style Setlist". Namie News Network. August 19, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  43. ^ a b Amuro, Namie (2016). Dear Diary/Fighter (Limited edition CD single; Liner notes). Namie Amuro. Avex Trax, Dimension Point. AVCN-99041.
  44. ^ "Dear Diary/Fighter / Namie Amuro" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.

External linksEdit