Hitsujibungaku – “Burning”

Hitsujibungaku – “Burning”

Tokyo trio Hitsujibungaku had their breakthrough – if you define breakthrough as coming onto my personal musical radar – with their 2023 single “More Than Words”, which aside from being an absolute earworm, was used to soundtrack the season-closing scene of immensely popular anime series Jujutsu Kaisen. It wasn’t the band’s first swing at soundtracking an anime show, and now, is now no longer their last/latest.

The band released new single “Burning” last week, and it will appear again as the ending theme for the second season of another immensely popular anime series, Oshi no Ko (I haven’t watched anime in like 30 years so I only know that they’re popular because I’m told they are). A full EP of versions slated to come out August 28 (one of the things I love/find fascinating about the Japanese music industry is their commitment to physical media and their old school way of releasing music, but I digress). I know I’ve been iffy about including the band in these pages because of their only-tangential association with shoegaze – though I do love them, to be clear – but the commitment to the Big Muff with the main riff is enough to satisfy my inner gatekeeper.

Unusually for a Japanese band, they’ve given a couple interviews about the release to English media. First, an introduction to the band and their personal history with anime and manga for Bandwagon Asia:

Hitsujibungaku discuss new single ‘Burning’, ‘Oshi No Ko’, ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ and their favourite anime themes @ Bandwagon Asia

And a chat with NME about the song and its shoegaze roots:

This song was inspired by Oshi No Ko’s second anime season. I read the original work again and again, and I imagined how I would translate the characters’ feelings in my own way. In terms of the song’s sound, I was inspired largely by the band Curve. We were introduced to them by our sound team – and in that way, I thought it would be nice to go for a rockier, shoegaze approach in that vein.

Moeka Shiotsuka, Hitsujibungaku
Hitsujibungaku share ‘Oshi No Ko’ theme ‘Burning’: “I wanted to inject the characters’ unfulfilled emotions into the song” @ NME

There’s a slick official video for the song:

And its appearance in the actual anime closing scene in question:

And finally, a live version from the Singapore stop last week of their current Asian tour for 12 Hugs (Like Butterflies).

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