A Song to the Sun
|A Song to the Sun|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Norihiro Koizumi|
|Written by||Kenji Bandō|
|Distributed by||Shochiku Co.,Ltd. (Japan)|
|June 17, 2006 (Japan)|
|Box office||¥1.05 billion|
Upon release, A Song to the Sun was financially successful and helped launch Yui's music career. In addition, Yui also won the Best Newcomer Actress at the 30th Japan Academy Film Prize for her role. Several adaptations of the film were made, including a 2006 television series, a 2018 American remake, and stage plays.
Kaoru has Xeroderma Pigmentosum, a medical condition that forbids its bearer from being exposed from direct sunlight. She sleeps during the day, and is active at night. She busks every night in front of a station, playing the guitar. Outside her bedroom window, she spots a high school boy with a surfboard. She watches him and his friends visit the ocean every morning before going to sleep. One day, she introduces herself to him without letting him know about her medical condition. He is Kōji Fujishiro. When her friend drags her home, they sit by her window, while they watch Kōji meet his friends. Kaoru explains everything, and her friend notes that she probably goes to the same school as him, and offers to spy on him for her.
The next evening, she sits by the bus stop. Kōji arrives on his scooter. Both embarrassed, they start talking, with Kōji eventually promising to meet her, and listen to her sing another night, at the start of the school holidays. When they meet up, another obnoxious street performer has taken her spot. Kōji decides to take her to the city, where after seeing the sights, she starts playing in a square. A substantial crowd gathers to hear her sing. Afterwards, they watch the ocean, and Kōji asks her out.
Their date ends abruptly as the sun breaks and Kaoru flees home. Kōji is soon informed of Kaoru's condition, and is taken aback. For a while, Kaoru stubbornly refuses to see him. Kōji learns of a recording studio, where Kaoru could record her debut single, and takes up small jobs to earn the money to pay for it. Her father, out of concern, invites Kōji over one night. At dinner, Kōji reveals his plans for Kaoru's CD. As they walk home that night, the two begin to talk, and Kaoru slowly realizes how much Kōji truly cares for her.
As her medical condition begins to grow much worse over time, she loses feeling in her hands and is unable to play guitar. She assures Kōji that she still has her voice.
In the studio, she asks her family and friends to leave. She asks them to wait for the CD.
Some time later, as promised, Kōji brings Kaoru to the beach to watch him surf. The protective suit she had left hanging for years is finally used. By now, she is in a wheelchair. She complains that the suit is getting hot. With a painful expression that fades quickly, Kaoru's father tries to convince her that if she takes off the suit, it cannot bother her anymore, that she could run around freely. She declines. With that, she struggles to stand up, and limps weakly toward Kōji. As she walks, she trips over the sand, and Kōji rushes to tend to her. She catches herself at the last minute, revealing that it was a feint, and giggles at his surprised face.
Later, Kaoru succumbs to her medical condition and eventually dies. She is laid to rest in a coffin full of sunflowers. Kōji and Kaoru's friends and family listen as Kaoru's CD is finally released. In the final scene Kōji rushes towards the waves with his mind replaying her voice.
There are two Japanese DVD releases of Taiyō no uta, a standard and a premium edition. The premium edition includes a bonus disc with nearly 90 minutes of making-of footage, deleted scenes, the music video for the song "Good-bye Days", and interviews with Yui, Takashi Tsukamoto and the film's director. It also has special features of Yui's Diary and a pick pendant with a necklace. Only making of Taiyō no Uta was released on June 2, 2006. Both standard edition and premium edition were released on June 11, 2006.
Russell Edwards from Variety stated that the film was "sweet", but suggested that Western audiences would be less receptive towards the romance themes than Asian audiences.  He also complimented the film's method of highlighting Kamakura without relying on tourism clichés and the actors' performances.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2007||30th Japan Academy Film Prize||Best Newcomer||Yui||Won|
In 2006, a television drama adaptation of the same name aired on TBS, starring Erika Sawajiri and Takayuki Yamada. The theme song, "Taiyō no Uta", was performed by Sawajiri and released under the name Kaoru Amane as a tie-in, which also helped launch her solo singing career.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN|
|1||January 10, 2007||978-4-06-341509-4|
In May 2015, writer Eric Kirsten announced an American adaptation of the film titled Midnight Sun, which is centered on New York City. The film stars Bella Thorne as Katie (originally Kaoru) and Patrick Schwarzenegger as Charlie (originally Koji). The film was released March 23, 2018.
- "2006年（平成18年）興収10億円以上番組" (PDF). Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (in Japanese). 2007. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
- Edwards, Russell (2007-05-13). "Midnight Sun". Variety. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
- The Hollywood Reporter - Volume 394 - Page 508 2006 TAIYO NO UTA (Drama) Director: Norihiro Koizumi; cast: Yui. Takashi Tsukamoto, Goto Kishitani.
- Ouchi, Keisuke (2018-05-11). "YUI＆沢尻エリカ『タイヨウのうた』に再注目！ヒット曲も話題に". Cinema Today (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "第30回日本アカデミー賞". Japan Academy Film Prize (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-03-16.
- "俳優の沢尻エリカ容疑者を逮捕 違法薬物所持の疑い". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 2019-11-16. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
- "タイヨウのうた". Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-03-01.
- "뮤지컬 <태양의 노래>│태연의 노래". TenAsia (in Korean). 2010-05-10. Archived from the original on 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
- "ふぉ～ゆ～辰巳雄大主演で「タイヨウのうた」初の舞台化 ヒロインはエビ中・柏木ひなた". Model Press (in Japanese). 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
- "Patrick Schwarzenegger Starring as Bella Thorne's Love Interest in Midnight Sun Movie". US Magazine. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- "Bella Thorne & Patrick Schwarzenegger To Star In YA Pic 'Midnight Sun'". Deadline. Retrieved October 11, 2013.