Zone’s Last Single

Filed in Cult of Pop 1.0

Zone’s last single, “Egao Biyori,” was released yesterday and I couldn’t help but pick up a copy at Hakubundo on Kapiolani. As others have noted, what makes this single especially painful is that it’s a very good song, a straight-ahead upbeat rocker that Zone’s mastered and which is relatively unique for their blend of Jpop and rock. While “Akashi” remains my absolute favorite – and now seems anomalously dark, instead of a portent of Zone’s future maturity – it’s equal to many other highlights in the band’s career, including “Good Days” and “True Blue”. Of the four singles released since Tomoka joined – which includes “Sotsugyo,” “Taiyo no Kiss,” and “Glory Colors” – this is certainly the best of an impressive bunch.

The only extra in the Limited Edition of the single is a lenticular cover. It would’ve been nice if, like “Taiyo no Kiss,” it had a DVD single as well. I had downloaded the PV last week and thought it was great. It blends rock cliches – the empty rehearsal area where the band steps in and plays – with idol touches – each band member posing thoughtfully behind a huge portrait of herself. When they each blow out a candle as the song closes, it’s heartbreaking. I’m a sucker for Jpop melodrama, cry at just about every H!P graduation I’ve watched, but this is more substantial in a way. With the exception of Miyu, I don’t know if I’ll be seeing any of the Zone girls again. I still suspect there’ll be a reunion somewhere down the road, but that’s hope springing eternal.

As it is, news has spread that Zone will indeed be releasing a fourth album – the first three albums are Z, O, and N, so fans were clamoring for an E. It’ll be a singles collection, and there’ll be a third PV clips collection on DVD as well as a concert video on DVD. So there’s plenty more moments to cry, part with money, and say goodbye.