My two favourite Misia songs are both ballads: "Everything" and this one "Hatenaku Tsuzuku Story"(The Neverending Story). The latter one was used as NHK's official theme song for its coverage of the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Hard to imagine that it's been over a decade since this video was first presented.
This is one of the more majestic tie-ups for a Games theme, and I have often thought this wasn't so much for the Olympics more than it was a requiem for one hero. The sweeping orchestral arrangements and Misia's soaring vocals always get me a bit verklempt whenever I hear it for the first time in a long time. It's almost a pity that other remixes of the song (disco, Latin jazz and one more dance remix) have been included with the maxi-single since they kinda undercut the original version's grandeur. Just imagine listening to Simon & Garfunkel's legendary "Bridge Over Troubled Water"....and then a few seconds later, the 5-minute Polka version of it comes on. Still, the remixes are fine...nothing bad about them at all; it's just that the original version is so epic.
Written by Misia and composed by Toshiaki Matsumoto, her 9th single was released at the end of January 2002, and peaked at No. 3 on the weeklies. It ended up becoming the 68th-ranked song of the year. The song was also included on Misia's 4th album, "Kiss In The Sky", released later that September. It hit the top spot on Oricon and was the 14th-ranked album of the year.