The Nostalgia of Hikaru Utada’s “First Love”

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Japanese American Musician Hikaru Utada was born in New York City on January 19, 1983. Her unique upbringing, strongly influenced by her parents’ musical careers, undoubtedly paved the way for her success in the music industry.


🎶Hikaru Utada’s “First Love” is a song that is synonymous with the 1990s. It was released in 1999, and it quickly became a huge hit in Japan.

📺In 2022, Netflix released a series called “First Love” that was inspired by the song. The series follows the story of two teenagers who fall in love in the late 1990s and then reunite two decades later. The series has been praised for its nostalgic atmosphere and for its soundtrack, which features many of Utada’s songs.

🗽 Born in New York City, New York, on January 19, 1983. Born to Japanese parents with music backgrounds. According to Wikipedia, her parents were married and divorced to each other seven times.

🎶 Her debut single, “Automatic/time will tell,” was released in 1998 when she was 15 years old.

🏆 She has won numerous awards, including six Japan Record Awards and two Grammy Awards. She has sold over 50 million records worldwide.

🎥 Her music has been featured in a number of films and television shows, including the anime film “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance” and the HBO series “The Leftovers.” She also wrote the theme song for the 2022 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

📺 In 2022, Utada made a surprise appearance on the Japanese variety show “Sukkiri!” She performed her new single “One Last Kiss,” which was the theme song for the film “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time.” The performance was a huge success, and it helped to reignite interest in Utada’s music.

Parents Musical Influence

Hikaru’s parents, Teruzane Utada and Junko Utada, both held impressive careers in music. Their fascinating personal stories, including marrying and divorcing each other seven times, added an unusual twist to Hikaru’s childhood.

Her father, Teruzane Utada, is well-known in the Japanese music industry. He built a reputation as a record producer, contributing to numerous projects, mainly in songwriting and lyric creation, during the late 1980s and mid-1990s. Presently, Teruzane serves as Hikaru’s manager, continuing to influence her career.

Hikaru’s mother, Junko Utada, is more commonly recognized by her stage name, Keiko Fuji. She became a popular enka singer in Japan during the late 1960s and early 1970s, noted for her deep, resonant vocals. Keiko’s successful career significantly impacted Hikaru’s life and musical journey.

Hikaru Utada’s early immersion in a musically rich environment, largely due to her parents’ significant influence and unique personal histories, set the stage for her future music career.

Jump-Starting a Phenomenal Career

At the tender age of 15, in 1998, Utada released her captivating debut single “Automatic/time will tell.” This began an outstanding career that would soon transcend international boundaries.

Breaking Records and Collecting Accolades

Utada’s impact on the Japanese music industry and beyond is unquestionable. She has received multiple prestigious awards, including six Japan Record Awards and two Grammy Awards. She has sold over 50 million records worldwide as fans and critics embraced her artistic talent.

First Love

Hikaru Utada’s debut album, “First Love,” released in 1999, holds a special place in the history of Japanese music. It became an instant success, propelled by hit singles such as “Automatic” and the title track “First Love.” The album has since been recognized as the best-selling album in Japan, with sales surpassing 10 million copies. Its influence extended beyond Japan, as it also garnered considerable attention internationally.

“First Love” earned Hikaru numerous awards, including the Japan Record Award for “Best Album of the Year” in 1999 and four awards at the 14th Japan Gold Disc Awards, including “Song of the Year” for the album’s title track. Producer Akira Miyake, along with Hikaru’s father Teruzane Utada, played crucial roles in the album’s creation, aiding in its commercial and critical success.

A Netflix Series Incites Nostalgia

Netflix’s show “First Love” from Japan became quite popular after its release on November 24, 2022. The nine-episode romantic drama series is based on two songs by Japanese megastar Utada Hikaru and directed by Kanchiku Yuri. In its second week on release, “First Love” reached the number five spot on Netflix’s rankings for non-English content and became the number one show in Japan for the week.

The series had watch hours totaling 12.3 million. The show stars Mitsushima Hikari and Takeru Satoh, and it tells a cross-generational love story spanning over more than 20 years.

“First Love” entered the global Netflix Top 10, ranking #8 across all Non-English Series. It also entered the Top 10 across 11 countries and took the prime position in Taiwan and Japan, holding the top spot in Japan for five consecutive days.

Venturing into Film and Television

Time after time, Hikaru Utada proved she could create magic with just her voice. As a result, she has seen her songs featured in various films and television shows like the anime film “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance” as well as HBO’s critically acclaimed series “The Leftovers.”

Triumphantly Returning to the Spotlight

Not every day do you see a legendary musical artist make headlines like Hikaru Utada did in 2022. In an unexpected appearance on the Japanese variety show “Sukkiri!”, Utada delivered a spellbinding performance of her newest single, “One Last Kiss.” As if it was written in the stars, this song became the theme for another installment in the Evangelion film series – “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time.”

This surprise performance left fans nostalgic and further reignited interest in her music long after she entered the Spotlight.

A Musical Force to Be Reckoned With

Hikaru Utada stands tall as an undeniable force within the music realm. Having experienced impressive achievements and accolades throughout her career while continuing to stay relevant with new creative ventures, she remains an inspiration for aspiring musicians everywhere.

From composing soulful songs that find their way into our hearts to penning theme music fit for global events like the Olympics, Hikaru Utada truly leaves no stone unturned. And with each passing year, countless fans eagerly await to hear what amazing new music she’ll unveil next.

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