Taiyou no Uta is the story of 19-year-old Kaoru Amane, whose biggest dream is to become a singer. However, fate is standing in her way. Kaoru suffers of a rare illness called XP. Her skin is highly sensitive to sunlight, and even the slightest exposure causes severe burns. As a result, Kaoru lives during the night, where she mostly sits on streetcorners to play the guitar and sing songs.
When she meets Koji, a young man who has given up on his dream to become a singer and instead wallows in self pity and self-loathing, her life turns upside down. She falls in love with him, and together they start making music to fulfill Kaoru’s dream.
The show has an overall of 10 episodes – such as every Japanese drama usually does.
Erika Sawajiri as Kaoru Amane
Takayuki Yamada as Koji
Nao Matsushita as Tachibana Asami
Taiyou no Uta is even today still one of my favorite television shows. As the title itself suggests (Translation: A Song of the Sun) the show combines beautiful poetic language and wonderful music. The story of Kaoru is, albeit tragic, an optimistic one, and it gives hope. Last but not least, it is a reminder to Koji as well as the audience alike: Make the most out of your life, because you never know when it might be over.
Kaoru is a true hero. Not one of the kind that have superpowers and rescue the world… but rather the kind that never gives up. Kaoru knows that she will not live past age 20, and yet she never gives up on her dreams – unlike Koji, who even states in episode 1 that he “wishes he was dead”. Kaoru, a girl who can never live during the daylight because the sun would be fatal to her, has the brightest light inside of herself, whereas the people around her live in darkness. Taiyou no Uta is a beautiful example for how one can waste ones days away and live a hundred years without never really having lived – and how much more noble and courageous it is to live every day to its fullest, and to sacrifice all for your dream.
I love this show because it touches something deep inside of me. In a world, where hardly anybody cares anymore, Kaoru is willing to die for her dream; the dream to write one single song that will touch the hearts of thousands of people. In the end she succeeds, even though she herself doesn’t live to see her success. Ironically, that one song that people remember her by is called “Taiyou no Uta” – “A Song of the Sun”.
One thing, that made a special impression on me is the music of Taiyou no Uta. Not just the songs that Kaoru Amane performs on the show, but also the instrumental music. I really love strong orchestral music and soft, sad piano tunes, and Taiyou No Uta has both. My very own favorite is “From Sunset to Sunrise” (in its numerous different versions), a beautiful instrumental piece that captures the drama of Kaoru’s existence and the tragedy of her short life. The soundtrack cd for the show was released by SONY, and can be ordered from amazon.co.jp.
The show itself can be watched on Youtube in Japanese original with English subtitles. I know many people aren’t fond of subtitled movies and shows, but I encourage you to give it a try! It is truly worth it! Here’s a Youtube playlist with all the episodes, so you can watch it now!