Netflix released an English-subtitled trailer for its live-action series First Love Hatsukoi, based on two hit songs by iconic J-Pop singer Utada Hikaru.
A Netflix original series, First Love Hatsukoi, found inspiration from Utada Hikaru's songs "First Love" and "Hatsukoi." "First Love" is perhaps one of the singer's most beloved songs, released when they were only 15 years old. The song "Hatsukoi" (literally meaning "First Love") came out almost 20 years later as part of an album of the same name. The series will take viewers on a journey, following a couple through the decades beginning in 1999 with the release of "First Love." An official synopsis for the series reads, "A new story has been crafted through inspiration from two songs by Hikaru Utada: the 1999 smash hit and musical gem 'First Love,' and 'Hatsukoi,' released 19 years later. The story follows a couple retracing their memories of their unforgettable first love over the course of more than 20 years and spanning three decades: the late '90s, the 2000s, and the present."
First Love Hatsukoi stars Hikaru Mitsushima (One Piece Film: Gold) as Yae Noguchi and Takeru Satoh (Dragon Quest Your Story) as Harumichi Namiki. Other actors confirmed for the cast include Akiyoshi Nakao (Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure), Towa Araki (3D Kanojo Real Girl), Aoi Yamada, Gaku Hamada (One Piece, One Piece Film: Gold), Osamu Mukai (Doraemon the Movie: Nobita in the Secret Gadgets Museum), Iura Arata (Dragon Quest Your Story) and Kyoko Koizumi (Onmyoji). Yuri Kanchiku, best known for directing AKB48's documentaries, wrote and directed the series.
Utada's Musical Influence Is Undeniable
Utada Hikaru, sometimes referred to simply as Utada, is a Japanese American J-Pop singer who began writing music at an early age. She initially performed under the name Cubic U, releasing an English debut album in 1998 titled "Precious." Unfortunately, "Precious" was a commercial failure. Utada didn't let failure get them down and re-debuted under their birth name the following year, releasing the hit album "First Love." "First Love" is one of Japan's best-selling albums of all time, with its successful singles "Automatic," "Time Will Tell," "Movin' On Without You" and, of course, "First Love." Known for their strong vocal colors, Utada continued to knock out hit after hit with each new album release, leading up to 2018's "Hatsukoi," which hit number one on the Oricon charts. Their most recent album, "Bad Mode," released earlier this year, is their first bilingual English/Japanese album. "Bad Mode" received gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), with The Japan Times calling it a career highlight.
Utada's music is well-known in anime and gaming circles. Disney and Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts video game series used Utada's songs "Simple and Clean," "Sanctuary," "Don't Think Twice" and "Face My Fears." Meanwhile, they also produced theme songs for Evangelion's films 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo and 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time.
First Love Hatsukoi will premiere on Netflix worldwide on Nov. 24.