I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

ZARD -- Don't you see!

I guess I can say that there for several years in the 90s and 00s, there was that golden age of ZARD. Time wouldn't pass too long during that time before there was another announcement of a single by the late Izumi Sakai(坂井泉水), aka ZARD, being released. Plus, there was that distinct sound she brought with her music via the guitars, the keyboards and her voice. It was always a sign of summer, in a way. And perhaps she could have been a female equivalent of TUBE.

One of the songs that got a lot of attention back then was "Don't you see!". This was her 19th single released in January 1997 (interesting release date, but it's still a summer song to me), and thanks to that title, it was an easy thing for the song to burrow itself into my memories. Written by Sakai and composed by musician-singer Seiichiro Kuribayashi(栗林誠一郎), it's an impassioned plea for love to someone who may be exhibiting some relationship reluctance or the fellow may be completely clueless about love.

I remember during those days when ZARD seemed to be as camera-shy as Greta Garbo in her later years. There would be some jokes about rare ZARD sightings on TV. And yet, I think she was probably plenty accessible at her concerts.

What I hadn't known before deciding to do the article was that "Don't you see!" was the 2nd ending theme for the anime "Dragonball GT"(ドラゴンボールGT)which had its run between February 1996 and November 1997. I noticed that the intro to the anime version was a lot more rousing. Of all of the theme songs for the "Dragonball" franchise, this was the only one to hit No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies and in its first week, to boot.

It ended up selling more than 600,000 copies and eventually became the 46th-ranked single of the year. Its first appearance on an album was "ZARD BLEND 〜SUN&STONE〜" from April 1997 which also hit No. 1 and became the 5th-ranked album of the year, breaking the 2 million barrier. Hard to believe that it's been over a decade since the passing of Sakai.

I found the English version of "Don't you see!" although I couldn't find out who the singer was.


  1. Since I was introduced to J-Pop thru anison, I only knew ZARD /because/ of "Don't You See!" Imagine my surprise to later learn that Izumi Sakai was so nationally adored! She also wrote the lyrics for the opening theme, Field of View's "Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku".

    1. Hello there.

      I've talked to some people who got into J-Pop in the same fashion. At the time, I hadn't been into anime so it was surprising to find out that ZARD did provide a theme song to one...and one so famous.


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