Review by David Cirone
“Hatsukoi,” the opening theme from the new Japanese film Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu, is a great showcase for Nakashima’s earthy voice. Her adult style has always set her apart from the kawaii-dominated J-Pop scene, and she’s at her best with well-constructed ballads like this.
“Kioku” follows in a similar vein as “Hatsukoi,” but it’s a weaker ballad, and while Nakashima’s vocal delivery is great, the song feels like a placeholder coming right after “Hatsukoi.” “Ashita Sekai ga Owaru Nara -World’s End Ver.-” brings only a few slight cosmetic changes to the original version (released in 2012 for Resident Evil: Retribution).
The single also includes an instrumental of “Hatsukoi,” which aside from potential karaoke practice, gives you another chance to appreciate the high-quality composition of the title track.