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|Yojiro Noda, music director of "Your Name" and vocalist of Japanese rock band Radwimps, speaks during the press conference in Seoul, Thursday. / Courtesy of MediaCastle|
By Kim Jae-heun
Yojiro Noda, music director of the Japanese animated movie "Your Name" and lead vocalist of Japanese rock band Radwimps, said he did not expect the film to achieve such a huge success in Japan and in Korea.
The 31-year-old musician visited Korea, Wednesday, to express his gratitude to Korean audiences for the huge popularity of "Your Name," directed by Makoto Shinkai. The movie is currently ranked No. 1 at the Korean box office as well as in other Asian countries, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Taiwan. The movie is the second-most-popular Japanese animated film in Korea to attract 2.68 million people since its Jan. 4 opening, following Miyazaki Hayao's "Spirited Away."
"I instantly decided to come to Korea after hearing that many Koreans are watching Your Name," Noda said during a press conference at Megabox Theater in Dongdaemun, eastern Seoul. "Your Name is gaining enormous popularity here and I am surprised. I had not expected such a success in Japan when it first opened there and what is happening here is astonishing. I am very happy that my work with director Makoto Shinkai over the last year and a half has produced good results."
Noda spent many months with Shinkai while producing the soundtrack for "Your Name" and he wrote more than 10 songs with his band Radwimps. Although only four of them have made it into the film's soundtrack album released in hard copy, Noda participated in other instrumental tracks as music director.
|A scene from "Your Name"|
Noda composed the theme music of "Your Name" upon Shinkai's request, hoping "in a way that the music will supplement the dialogue or monologue of the characters," in his words.
"I wrote the song without watching the final edited version of the film. If you know the lyrics of Zenzenzense, its story is different from that of the film. If I had written the lyrics 100 percent based on the script, it would be too obvious. I wrote the song based on what I felt while going over the plot over 100 times," said Noda.
The film's studio album recently won a music award at the Japanese Academy Prize and topped the Japanese soundtrack chart. Radwimp's album also entered the top 100 on Korean soundtrack charts ― a first for a Japanese band ― and their new album for the film is currently sold out.
The musician added that he visited Korea on behalf of the film crew to celebrate its achievement here this time but he hopes to come back with his band within this year to perform live.
"Your Name" is a romantic fantasy animated film based on the Shinkai's novel of the same title. It depicts a story of country girl Mitsuha and city boy Taki, who wake up in each others' bodies in their dreams and build up a romance.
The film has become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time in Japan and the highest grossing animated film worldwide, raking in over $330 million as of last week.