How did you give directions when recording the song?
‘Kamiyama directly asked Mitsuki Takahata to sing as Kokone. I was surprised at how she can sing so beautifully. The recording started from the beginning of the song, and at the ending of the song in the refrain part, I was utterly stunned by her singing. I thought it was only her who could sing the song as Kokone.’
‘The atmosphere totally changed when she started singing, didn’t it?’
‘It did, indeed. The part of the first recording was kept for the finished product and the recording was resumed from the rest of the song.’
‘We let her sing her own way because we wanted to use her natural talent. We didn’t give many directions and kept our requests to a minimum.’
While Takaoka’s voice for Kokone in the movie is vivacious, her singing voice sounds rather mature and kind of husky.
‘Exactly. Her voice differs between her acting and singing, and it’s good. Her acting voice is laid-back and sometimes nasal. Regarding her singing voice, although, I knew she was good at singing, I was totally thrilled by her voice from the first take.’
‘She sings with emotion, but it’s not a ballad song. It’s energetic but not overly so. Judging the balance in singing must be so difficult and delicate, but she did it perfectly.’
To conclude the interview, could you please tell us the best part of the movie from a musical perspective?
‘Kamiyama told me that he wanted piano music. I incorporated the piano sound as much as possible. For people who like my music or piano music in general, they’ll definitely love the soundtrack of this movie. I would be so glad if people would enjoy the movie and its music, and then go back to the theater to enjoy it again.’
‘I think my movies often overpower the soundtrack. It’s not my intention but rather because my attention was focused on the dialogue so that they don’t have many scenes which would take advantage of the music.
I directed this movie with an intention of maximizing the power of music. I was purely absorbed in music, from which I got good vibes, therefore I left it to the music in some parts. In the latter half, I was able to sense scenes which required music throughout. I think I finally managed to create scenes which maximize the power of music.
There is a scene which makes you realize why the music is played when you watch it again. The soundtrack controls the emotion of the audience very well, so they might not realize how good the soundtrack is in some parts because they have totally immersed themselves. I absolutely appreciate her music and hope many people listen to it intentionally in theaters.’
For directors, the main theme song is the last piece to complete a movie. In contrast to TV anime series, the theme song of a feature movie is only heard once. Directors must deeply consider singers, lyrics, tones, and rhythm to select the right song.
I believe ‘Daydream Believer’ will definitely touch audiences’ hearts. The music manifests the character of Kokone, the singing voice shows a different side of her, and the lyrics render the sentiment towards dreams and someone who is no longer with us. The lyrics in Japanese haven’t changed since 1989, but they will certainly give audiences who have just finished watching the movie a warm and uplifting feeling. Enjoy the movie and be absorbed in this fantastic dream.
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