At the same time that I discovered a classic enka duet from almost 80 years ago on last week's "Uta Kon"（うたコン）, I also truly heard for the first time one of the big hits by the rock group Orange Range on the same program.
Their 8th single "Hana" (Flower) came out in October 2004, and I was surprised to find out that this hadn't been mentioned in the J-Wiki article for the song that this would make for a great wedding reception song in Japan. But that's my guess. Written and composed by Orange Range, the lyrics pledge one person's love for another through thick and thin, amity and conflict, and even if they were to be reincarnated into flowers, they would grow beside each other in the garden. Try proposing with that song playing in the background in that Italian restaurant in Tokyo!
"Hana" debuted on Oricon right at No. 1 where it stayed for two weeks twice and quickly ended up as the 4th-ranked single of the year despite its relatively late release date. It even hung around for another year and became the 21st-ranked single for 2005. It became a million-seller and went Triple Platinum and even won the Gold prize at the JASRAC awards. "Hana" is also a track on Orange Range's 2nd original album "musiQ" from December 2004 which also went to No. 1 and became the best-selling album for 2005. In Oricon history, "musiQ" is currently at No. 33 in album sales after hitting 2 million.
2004 was a pretty banner year for the band due to "Hana" and also for its summery fun "Locolotion"（ロコローション）which was the 7th-ranked single for that year.