Rainy Mondays, vol. 7 – “RAIN”

Welcome back! In line with yesterday’s post about the film, I wanted to dedicate this week’s Rainy Mondays to the film’s theme song.

SEKAI NO OWARI is Japanese band whose popularity has steadily grown throughout the 2010s. Since their humble beginnings in 2009, they have achieved a number 1 single in 2014, a number one album in 2015, and a sold-out, two-day concert at Japan’s Nissan Stadium, a 70,000-seat venue. More recently, the band has been releasing music in English as End of the World (an English translation of their band name). Since their Japanese discography is unavailable on American digital music stores, I’m actually more familiar with their English output. My favorite is “Dragon Night,” because there’s a banjo solo in it. The band is no stranger to otaku culture, either; in 2015, the band contributed themes to both live-action Attack on Titan films, even recording English versions for international release.

“RAIN” is the theme tune to Mary and the Witch’s Flower, and in a drastic departure from the progressive house and dance-pop that permeate their English-language discography, this is a baroque ballad. I’m a sucker for string sections, and the backing here is particularly evocative. Fukase’s voice is an odd one, being a tad higher and squeakier than most male vocalists, but it suits the mood of the song very well. I love the way he utilizes dynamics here, starting soft in the beginning, then gradually reaching a crescendo by the key change in the final chorus. The dulcimer is also a great choice.

I’ve been obsessed with this song since the film’s initial teaser released (linked above) and have easily listened to it hundreds of times since then. My appreciation for the song has only grown stronger now that I’ve seen the film. It’s truly gorgeous.

“RAIN” is available in the West on iTunes and Amazon as part of the “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” soundtrack. Note that the artist’s name will show as End of the World rather than SEKAI NO OWARI.

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