Hikaru Utada Returns as Radio Personality
posted on by Egan Loo
Hikaru Utada will return to the entertainment business after three years away — not as a singer, but as a radio personality. She announced on Friday that she will begin hosting a monthly radio program called Kuma Power Hour with Utada Hikaru on the InterFM station on April 16. The program will run on the third Tuesday of every month in Tokyo and Yokohama's Kanto region.
Utada has been on hiatus from the entertainment business since the beginning of 2011, and she also noted that it has been 13 years since the last time she hosted a regular program. She did contribute the song "Sakura Nagashi" as the ending theme for last year's Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (Evangelion Shin Gekijō-ban: Q), but her management emphasized that the song did not represent a full-fledged return from her hiatus. She still uses the song's CD jacket art (pictured right) by Evangelion character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto as her Twitter profile image.
Utada is an internationally known, bestselling pop artist born in New York City and raised in Japan and the United States. Her debut album, 1999's First Love, is still Japan's bestselling album ever with about 8 million copies sold. Bandai Visual used Utada's "Kiss & Cry" and "This is Love" songs for the Freedom anime project. Utada also sang the theme songs for the Casshern live-action movie remake and the Hana Yori Dango 2 live-action television adaptation.
More recently, she provided a 2007 remix of her 2000 cover of Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)" for the trailer to Evangelion:1.0 You are (Not) Alone (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Jo), as well as her "Beautiful World" song for the anime film itself. She also contributed the "Beautiful World -PLANiTb Acoustica Mix-" for the second film, Evangelion:2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Ha). In addition to her singing career, she played the heroine Pinoko in the 2001-2002 Black Jack net anime series. She toured the United States and the United Kingdom in 2009.