Let me explain the "Christmas & New Year Card" about which we've received so many inquiries these last few days. The most popular questions was, "How can I get one?" Since Hikaru's debut, she's received much fan mail here -- letters, e-mail to the site, faxes, request postcards -- as well as email to "Tres Bien Bohemian," on which she is a regular, and through questionnaires at the film concert "Luv Live Re-Mix" held Japan-wide. From all the messages received, we decided to send "Christmas & New Year Card" to those containing a clearly written name and address. We didn't use any particular method of selection. Some people asked, "Maybe she now has a Fan Club, and the cards were only sent to the members?" That's not the case at all. For your information we're still in the process of mailing out the cards, because the number of people on the list has become so enormous! Naturally, the mailing list was created by a professional to avoid any mistakes, and all of us staff are working hard so the cards will reach you as soon as possible. Please understand that the cards above all reflect Hikki's deep appreciation to all the fans who have supported her over the past year. We all appreciate your continued support and cooperation in the future. Thank you.
Teruzane Utada, U3MUSIC / Keiji Ozawa, Fes inc.
To fans who purchased "HIKARU UTADA SINGLE CLIP COLLECTION VOL.1"
We received several comments from people who purchased the VHS tape "HIKARU UTADA SINGLE CLIP COLLECTION VOL.1," released on Dec. 16, that the visuals did not seem to be of extraordinarily high quality.
With VHS tapes, the recorded material (analog signals of sound and video) are played back on VCRs, and therefore, the images cannot escape a slight deterioration compared with the video viewed on TV, which uses higher-quality "broadcast video" for commercial purposes. Also, some sequences on the tape were intentionally made "rough" by the producers.
The promotional video clip of "Automatic" was produced as a short version.
Please understand that some parts of the video have different lyrics from those printed on the liner notes.
Yuji Endo, Video Division, Toshiba EMI Ltd.
About "HIKARU UTADA SINGLE CLIP COLLECTION VOL.1"
On Dec. 16, the first video, entitled "Hikaru Utada Single Clip Collection Vol.1," will be released (DVD on Dec. 22). We have received many inquiries about this product from fans visiting this site. Thank you! The details are as follows: (as of Dec. 2)
"Hikaru Utada Single Clip Collection Vol.1"
VHS (TOVF-1340) -- Dec. 16
DVD (TOBF-5020) -- Dec. 22
Price: 2,800 yen (tax included) or 2,667 (before tax) for both VHS and DVD
2. making of "Movin' on without you"
3. Movin' on without you
4. First Love
5. making of "Addicted To You"
6. Addicted To You
+bonus track "time will tell"
In addition to the video clips of four singles released to date, this product includes the making of "Movin' on without you" and "Addicted To You," plus a bonus track (!).
Now, the most common question we received was "Does the content differ between VHS and DVD?" DVD is a new medium receiving much attention. It's the same size as a CD but capable of storing more information -- large amounts of digitally recorded video and sound, for example. DVD also has an interactive function where you can jump to various parts from the menu screen. Naturally, you need a DVD player.
The DVD version features:
1. Text such as lyrics and credits can be viewed on the TV screen.
(VHS version has a booklet where such information is included.)
2. Two sound tracks are recorded for the fifth track, "making of 'Addicted To You'." You can listen to a different sound according to your selection. (How different are the two? You'll have to buy it to find out!)
Now, as an initial-production bonus, the following are included:
1. An original postcard and sticker (one each) are included in the VHS version.
2. Two original stickers (of different design) are included in the DVD version.
We have prepared as many of these bonus items as possible, but there's a limit! As soon as stock runs out, they won't be included in either version, so we urge you to purchase these products as soon as possible!
Yuji Endo, Video Division, Toshiba EMI Ltd.
About books published of late:
Recently, many books about Hikaru Utada have been published, and most of them were produced without our being contacted.
Consequently, many of these books contain false information, or sound like they were written from actual knowledge but are, in fact, merely guesswork. Jacket photos, rightfully ours, are used without permission. Material from the Hikaru Utada website, whose unauthorized use is prohibited without written permission, is often cited. We are currently contemplating legal action against such infringements.
We're sorry to see these violations of the artists' rights and privacy and we hope to rectify the situation.
At this time, there are no plans to publish an official book. Please understand the current situation. Any plans for such a book will, of course, be announced on this site.
A&R 1 Group, Domestic A&R, Virgin Division
Toshiba EMI Ltd.
To everyone who purchased "Addicted To You":
Since yesterday we've received several inquiries about a "jiri jiri" sound (like the sound of a record being scratched) audible in the intro section of the song "Addicted To You," and if this might be a defect in the disc.
Actually, the sound was intentionally included by the producers.
As you may well know, to "play" an analog record, originally intended for listening, like a kind of instrument, is one of the ideas that created hip-hop music. As a sort of tribute to that genre, Hikaru Utada as well as the production staff adopted the peculiar special scratch sound as a part of the music.
We'd just like to confirm that the effect was entirely intentional.
Akira Miyake / Hidenori Okita
A&R 1 Group, Domestic A&R, Virgin Division
Toshiba EMI Ltd.
Hello everybody! It's been a long time!
"Why hasn't Staff Corner been updated?"
"I've been logging on every day..."
We're very sorry we haven't updated Staff Diary corner for a while...
But we've been reading your comments and thinking about it. We'll do our best to update this corner as often as the other sections on this site, so please continue to visit. Also, a special Mail Corner has been created for message to staff.
So, here we are. Let's look at the Q&A Corner.
Q: I'd like to have my own Web site linked to this site. Can I?
A: If you want your site to have a link to our site, there is an application section for linking at the official Web site of Toshiba EMI. Please apply using that form.
Q: Isn't there a fan club?
A: At present there is no official fan club, nor are there any plans for creating one. However, fans participating in this Web site are invited to fill in our questionnaire (in the "Radio Info" section) to receive news about future projects related to Utada Hiraku.
Q: Who are the staff? Who is creating this Web site?
A: The staff are all staff of Utada Hikaru. They consist mainly of the Utada Hikaru Office staff, Toshiba EMI staff in charge of Utada Hikaru, and the Web site staff at Toshiba EMI.
We update the Web site mainly according to the CD releases, because the visuals, etc. are changed with each new release. Together with those change, we renew the site, too.
As mentioned, we'll try to update the Staff Diary corner more frequently... Promise!
Thanks again for your kind words and enthusiasm -- it's very encouraging!
Q: Please publish lyrics on the site, or please let me publish lyrics on my site.
A: Publishing lyrics is not approved even on the official Web site due to the copyright issue. So naturally, we can't approve such an offer of publishing lyrics on a private site. Please understand the situation.
Q: Will "Close To You" by Cubic U be included in the video collection?
A: As you know, "Cubic U" and "Utada Hikaru" are different artists.
Since the upcoming video consists of promotional clips for "Utada Hikaru," there are no plans to include a video clip of "Cubic U."
Q: Will an analog version of "Addicted To You" be released?
A: There are currently no plans to do so.
Nozomu Kaji, Domestic A&R, Virgin Division, Toshiba EMI Ltd.
Thank you for applying for the "McDonald's Presents Utada Hikaru Luv Live Remix ~ hello from new york~," which was our way of having Utada Hikaru's live peformances seen by as many people as possible! We received a HUGE number of applications from all over Japan, it was a fantastic response.
Utada Hikaru herself is really looking forward to seeing many of you throughout the country.
For those who won in the draw, the prize is a pair of tickets, so please bring along a friend or your favorite somebody!
We look forward to seeing you there!
The contents of the event: We are going to show you the entire video of Utada Hikaru's first live show, "Luv Live," held at Zepp Tokyo on April 2.
The video also includes pre-show footage such as rehearsal scenes.
Furthermore, the seven venues throughout Japan are all linked via satellite to Utada herself, so she'll be able to say hello -- live -- to you all!
Some, though not many, had the wrong idea about this event, thinking it was a "live satellite broadcast" of the performance," so we wanted to clarify.
And we have good news for those who didn't win in the draw!
As you'll see in the News section, it has been decided that the video concert will be held at three additional venues-- Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch, Fujikyu Highland and Miyazaki Seagaia.
These screenings won't include Utada's live appearance via satellite, but the video of "Luv Live" can be enjoyed at those three venues.
Show times and how to attend are different for each concert hall, so please inquire at each as detailed in the News section.
We're thrilled to share this memorable concert with many, many people through this video concert! See you there!
Utada Hikaru's TV appearance decided!
Thanks for your patience!
Starting with the "MUSIC STATION" broadcast last week, the TV appearances of Utada Hikaru have been decided! She'd been saying, "I'd like to be on TV someday," and since her school summer holidays started, it's become a reality! Check the News corner for details...
"What's HIKKI going to sing on TV?"
This question must be on everyone's mind. Please look forward to it --. she'll sing different songs on each program, so please check the schedule. And she's so full of spirit, these being her first TV appearances!! It's going to be really something.
"Utada Hikaru LUV LIVE REMIX~hello from new york~" video concerts to be held throughout Japan!
Utada Hikaru's first live show, "LUV LIVE," will be held in Tokyo and Osaka on April 1 & 2 this year. In response to many fans' requests that they would love to see even a glimpse of these tremendously successful live performances, a video concert will be held in seven cities on July 29 (Thursday).
In addition to the main LUV LIVE concert, this video will include special "behind the scenes" footage including of rehearsal scenes. And, best of all, Utada Hikaru will send a message to everyone in the concert halls live via satellite.
How to get a ticket? Fill in the necessary information in the application postcard you'll receive at McDonald's nationwide when you buy a Value Set worth over 500 yen, then mail it to the Concert Office. By lottery, 20,000 pairs of tickets (total: 40,000) will be distributed to lucky winners throughout Japan for the video concerts free of charge.
The details are at the McDonald's Web site (there's a link in the News corner), and will also be announced on storefront posters at McDonald's nationwide starting June 28, when the campaign starts. (For general inquiries: call 0180-993-729 (taped message))
It's been some time!
Hikki's Web site has been updated and is getting an ever-increasing number of hits!
We're truly sorry to have received comments like, "You say you've updated the site, but other than Hikki's own message section nothing else has been updated!" We do intend to add more and more information of interest to her fans, so please be patient.
As you can see in the NEWS section, Hikki's album has set a new record in the history of album sales on the Ori-Con album chart dated May 10.
In the singles category, the 12cm-disc "First Love," an album title song as well as the main theme of TBS network weekly drama, "Majo no Joken" (Conditions of a Witch), entered the Ori-Con chart at No. 2 and its sales are steadily growing.
We're grateful to you music lovers for such a great achievement.
Thank you. We look forward to your continued support!
Now, let's move on to the Q&A corner, shall we?
When is the next release?
Hikki herself has stated that she will continue to create 'Utada Hikaru's music' beyond the framework of musical genres, and her next work is eagerly awaited. But to create a truly fine work takes time. This is easy to understand when you consider that the album "First Love" took one year and a half to produce. Utada Hikaru has already started work on the next project in tandem with her schoolwork, but the release is still some time away. Please look forward to it!
Many fans may already know about the cat character that appears at the beginning of this Web site. Its name is Chuichi and it's the creation of Utada Hikaru herself, who wanted to create a character with rich expressions. The name comes from that of the cat her father used to have. She remembers that cat from when she was little.
At present certain goods such as Utada Hikaru T-shirts and stationery are being sold at various places, but none of them is produced with official approval. We at the record company and management office -- as well as the artist herself -- feel very bad about this. To protect the artist's rights, we are determined to take firm action against wicked traders who manufacture and sell these products, . We are currently conducting research at various places. We'd appreciate it if you report to us when you see any such illegal products in your area. Thank you for your cooperation.
Did you know?
If you click the arrow-like button in the top righthand corner of this page you can view past entries in the STAFF DIARY. If this is your first visit to this page, you have some catching up to do!
"Luv Live" was a great success. Thanks to you all! We're deeply grateful that it went so well. Thanks to the cooperation of so many people. Thank you very much!
Please check our News corner for clippings of the live show and airplay information.
Here's some more big NEWS, while all the excitement from the live show is still hot. Yes a fabulous joint performance of Utada Hikaru with TLC and MONICA! Please check in the NEWS corner for details of this event.
Now, here's the latest of the "FROM STAFF." It's been some time, we know. We'll reply to questions, etc. sent to this corner by e-mail.
Won't there be any more release of analog discs?
Thanks for your patience. We're scheduled to release the album's analog version at the end of June. It's a limited-edition pressing, to be sold only by reservation, so be sure to reserve your copy at the record store, but please note the deadline of the reservations is April 30! The album number and price are in the NEWS corner.
Aren't you going to release promotional video clips or live videos?
We receive the most requests for videos (you know, at some BBS, some "movement for release demand" has happened...), and are currently looking into the release of promotional video clips. As soon as it's been decided, we'll announce the news on this site.
As for the live video, we have secured the video of "LUV LIVE," but have not yet scheduled the release. There are several reasons for this. First of all, the footage wasn't taken for the purpose of a commercial video, and there're issues of copyrights and so forth as well.
We are, however, looking into the possibility of using the video of "LUV LIVE" as promotion in some way, and when it's decided we'll announce the news in this corner.
Again, please note that all the above may still change, none of it is written in stone!
"Had an accident..."
Among the mail we received, there were some saying, "while listening to your music while driving, I had an accident," and Utada herself and all the staff are quite concerned. Luckily everybody seems to be ok, to our relief, but please be careful when driving, watch your speed!