I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Misato Watanabe -- 10 Years

The years...they sure go by fast. I went out for dinner with some old friends the other night, including my anime buddy who I've known for over quarter of a century. Most of the others I've known for just a little over a couple of decades.

I first heard Misato Watanabe's(渡辺美里)"10 Years" on her 10th anniversary BEST album, "She Loves You" from July 1995. For some years, I'd thought the song was one especially made for that anniversary but have since discovered that it actually was the B-side to her 12th single, "Kimi no Yowasa"(君の弱さ....Your Weakness) from October 1988. "10 Years" was written by Watanabe and composed by singer-songwriter Senri Oe(大江千里) as a young adult's story about how far he/she has come in the past decade since high school vis-à-vis an old flame, and what could be in the offing over the next ten years.

Despite the title and my description, though, the song isn't a sepia-toned nostalgic tune but an upbeat hopeful one which fits my image of the singer and her collaborator Oe. The remarkable thing about the melody is that it seems to have that feeling of time passing by, especially in the instrumental bridge. I could just see years suddenly flashing by on the screen when that bridge comes in. If there were ever a musical based on Misato's life, "10 Years" would be the perfect coda.

"10 Years" was never placed onto an original album but as mentioned appears on "She Loves You" and also the next few BEST albums, including "Sweet 15th Diamond" which came out in July 2000.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    "10 years" is probably my favorite Misato Watanabe song, although "Kanashii ne" is also a personal favorite. I though about writing an article about it in the past, but I'm glad that you, a true Misato Watanabe fan, gave this beautiful song some light.

    Although I do agree with you about the "upbeat" vibe, I also think of it as a very sentimental power pop song, and that's probably because of its theme (years passing by, etc.). Also, Misato's soulful vocals are very suitable to the song and the meaning behind it. "10 years" surely required a strong vocalist like her.

    Thanks for the article and the inclusion of the beautiful live in the end. I'd love to hear her singing the whole song with that beautiful live arrangement, but she just did a normal short version.

    1. Hi, Marcos.

      Yeah, it does have that little bit of sentimentality in it which explains why I had initially thought it was created for that anniversary album.

      Her 30th anniversary is coming up next year....hard to believe. I'm pretty sure she will include "10 Years" into any special concerts then.

  2. From the same 2010 concert, a 2008 Watanabe single, also a Senri Oe composition. It only reached the lower reaches of the top 100. A bit higher than the 2007 original did though.

    Hajimari no Uta, Anata He


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.