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.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Megumi Hayashibara -- Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare… (雨のち曇りのち晴...)

I have a very serious problem when it comes to showing Megumi Hayashibara’s (林原めぐみ) songs to friends and other people: in general, I don’t know what song showcases what’s best about her as an artist. Since she’s my favorite singer, it’s always hard for me to pick something notable from her discography… simply because I like almost everything. In the end, it always depends on what I think the other person will like or not coming from her, but if there’s one neutral song I’m proud to showcase, it’s “Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare…”.

Released as one of the promotional songs from her 1999’s album “Fuwari” (ふわり), “Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare…” represents very well the overall mood of the aforementioned album: a calm, gentle and beautiful collection of songs that were well connected to what Megumi was experiencing in life at the time (she got married a year earlier, in 1998, and, probably because of that, this album is different from her past ones thanks to a more personal approach). So, instead of an aidoru singing gimmicky tunes or a seiyuu recording hyper-active anime songs, “Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare…”, with its beautiful vocals, pleasant melody and more restrained arrangement, represents Megumi as a true mature singer. It’s something rare to see, or listen to, in her music career, so I’m glad the “Fuwari” album exists to fill this gap.

And here’s a live version of the song from a show held in 2000.

The “Fuwari” album reached #5 on the Oricon charts, selling around 117,820 copies (source: Lyrics for “Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare…” were written by Megumi herself, while music was composed by Hidetoshi Sato (佐藤英敏). As for the arrangement, Sho Goshima (五島翔) was the responsible.

"Fuwari", from my personal collection


  1. Hello, Marcos.

    Yes, I'm not wholly versed on the Hayashibara discography, but I can hear that "Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare…" was a different type of song for the singer. There is a bit more lushness in the arrangements...perhaps closer to what ZARD was doing back then.

    1. Hi, J-Canuck

      I think ZARD is a good comparison, and even the "Fuwari's" overall vibe and image suits her well. At first, I remember not liking the album very much, probably because I wasn't expecting songs like "Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare...". However, after many years, I started liking what it had to offer, even in its most experimental moments.

      In the end, I can't tell if Megumi was really trying something different at the time, but neither "Ame Nochi Kumori Nochi Hare..." nor "Fuwari" sounds like your typical seiyuu work... and it's probably her only album I can't connect with the voice acting world (even if one of two of the songs were used as theme songs for some underground Tokusatsu series of the time called Vanny Knights).

    2. Evening, Marcos.

      I wouldn't be surprised if Hayashibara were going for something different here. As you mentioned in the article, she did get married which is obviously a life-changing event so perhaps her emotions and world view underwent change as well. My question would be whether her output since then has gone between her seiyuu-connected material and this more emotional pop.

    3. Hi, J-Canuck.

      About Hayashibara and how her music career evolved over the years, I actually think about "Fuwari" as her last attempt of a cohesive album. After its release, she'd only released albums that were mainly compilations of themes from anime series she'd been involved during a certain period. So, even if there's always one or two songs composed especially for the albums, it's clearly not done in the most thoughtful way. In about two weeks, for example, she's releasing her newest studio album in almost eight years, but the tracklist is basically a bunch of anime songs she'd recorded over these past seven or eight years, plus a couple of new songs (one of them, called "Fifty", is about her turning fifty years old last year, and that's probably the only real personal song we'll get).

      I know, for sure, she doesn't enjoy singing very much. She said in an interview that she refused lots of TV invitations for live singing during her peak, and even refused to do live concerts. According to the interview, since her main activity was (and still is) voice-acting, she didn't want to tire her voice out doing secondary things, which included live singing. Meanwhile, I just think she's not very confortable with live singing, since she's not the most gifted singer around...

      In the end, she may be my favorite singer, but I'm conscious of her limitations.


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