AI OTSUKA and Fruits Basket

Ringing in the changes…

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of her debut, J-pop singer-songwriter Ai Otsuka’s new song ‘Chime’ has been chosen as the new opening theme for the 2019 TV anime Fruits Basket.

Ai Otsuka is probably best known for her 2004 debut album Love Punch, which featured sugary pop outings such as ‘Sakuranbo’. She claimed the 2004 Best Artist award at the Japan Cable Radio Awards with Love Punch landing a No. 3 position in the charts (her second album Love Jam clinched the No. 1 spot).

Otsuka is a guest at this week’s Japan Expo in Paris and performed ‘Chime’ as part of her appearance live on stage. She also recently finished a Japan tour in support of her latest greatest hits album Ai Am Best, Too and will start a tour of Asia in China and Taiwan later this month.

‘Chime’, written and performed by the singer, will debut on the new episode of Fruits Basket on July 5th (Japan time), and the digital single will be available on download sites and subscription services worldwide on the same day.

The remake of popular anime Fruits Basket anime began in April. Originally written by Natsuki Takaya, Fruits Basket is a girl’s manga which was serialised from 1998 to 2006 in the magazine Hana to Yume (Hakusensha), with more than 30 million copies of the series printed worldwide. In 2001, it was animated for TV on TV Tokyo (26 episodes) and later adapted for a live stage production in 2009. Fruits Basket has gained overwhelming support over a wide audience, mainly female, and is still very popular 10 years since the last episode of serialisation.

Otsuka created the up-tempo ‘Chime’ to represent the ringing sound of a new beginning for girls who, like the characters in the anime, want to change but can’t quite take the first step.