Ano Hana ED Single – secret base ~Kimi Ga Kureta Mono~ – Review

Album Title: secret base ~Kimi Ga Kureta Mono~
Anime Title: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
Artist: Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami, Norihiko Machida
Catalog Number: SVWC-7764
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: April 27, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan

Track Title Artist Time
01. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (10 years after Ver.) Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami 5:53
02. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (Memento mori Ver.) Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami 4:41
03. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (10 years after Ver.) Off Vocal Version Norihiko Machida 5:53
04. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (10 years after Ver.) Off Vocal Version Norihiko Machida 4:38

Review: The weight of the drama and the emotions that run through each episode of Ano Hana is already fairly substantial as the anime hits upon the memories of the past which lay entrenched in the characters’ minds. But what allows these sentiments to persist beyond their usual lifeline lies in the seamless transition from the episode’s contents to the ending theme, which features Ai Kayano’s, Haruka Tomatsu’s, and Hayami Saori’s sonorous rendition of “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~.” Though this wouldn’t be the first time “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~” is used as an anime’s ending theme, its implementation in Ano Hana is very nearly flawless.

Much of the credit for what makes this song shine goes to the three seiyuu whose voices each contribute their own flavor, whether they sing individually or together. Ai Kayano’s is soft and cute. Though she is initially tentative in her approach, her intonation expresses the extent to which she yearns for that bygone era. Haruka Tomatsu, with her fuller voice, builds the song’s foundation by kneading this desire further as she reminisces. The tempo at which she proceeds is fitting, mimicking the slow pace one takes while walking down memory lane. Hayami Saori picks up where Tomatsu leaves off and of the three, hers is packed with the most sorrow as she indicates through her intonation that, as much as she cherishes that memory, there’s no going back; life must go on. Ai Kayano’s sighs later on in the song reinforce this feeling of resignation, and as each of the singers take their turn to shine their light upon a fragment of their memories, the song builds up to that heartrending chorus.

The chorus melds the seiyuu’s voices wonderfully. Their plaintive delivery, heavy with heartache, reflects the extent to which they cling to those cherished memories, so much so that it prevents them from moving on. I really love how the nostalgia they convey bubbles forth so effortlessly, enveloping me in its warmth along with the singers’ side serving of mournfulness that sublimely conveys their regrets. Through it, the melancholy buds bloom in a brilliant display, thereby tying the song’s sentiments to that of the anime’s.

Since ZONE came out with “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~” back in 2001, the song has been covered numerous times. Scandal released their take on it in November 2010 and, as I alluded to it in the intro paragraph, the seiyuu from Today, in Class 5-2 sang that song for the show’s ending theme. Of those covers, only Ano Hana’s version is able to match the original’s emotional expressiveness pound for pound. While Scandal’s version falls short through their bold, husky delivery (an inappropriate interpretation if there ever was one) and Today, in Class 5-2’s skimps on the emotional impact because of how quickly it proceeds, Ano Hana’s version does what all good EDs do: it ladens us with each episode’s sentiments, allowing the emotions to linger on, long after the episode has ended.

Rating: Excellent

Ano Hana ED – secret base ~The Gift You Gave To Me~ (10 years after Ver.)


Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

18 thoughts on “Ano Hana ED Single – secret base ~Kimi Ga Kureta Mono~ – Review

  • May 25, 2011 at 3:52 am

    I first heard this song back when I watched Today in Class 5-2, and you’re right. The song didn’t work too well with the show because of its comedic ecchi nature. I think the song was ZONE’s most famous song, which I never really cared about, but the song suddenly cemented into one of my favorite Japanese songs of all time when I came upon their last performance of that song in Budokan. It just works well with AnoHana, just from the title.

    Also, I find this particular version better, with the slower tempo and other little nuances like more pronounced bass lines and softer guitar parts. With regards to the video sequence itself, the falling grey flowers turning to colorful floating ones really sticked out to me very well, it’s very simple yet representative of the “lost friendship” and “ascending to heaven” themes of the show. The only thing that bothers me is that pause in 0:35, which give me bone chills for some reason. Maybe I’m watching too much paranormal/horror stuff.

  • May 25, 2011 at 7:18 am

    It is, indeed, a nice song. However I still find myself preferring ZONE’s version at the end of the day.

  • May 25, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Great review. I had no idea that the song had been covered so many times and had already been used in an anime…the words almost felt like they were written for AnoHana. Or, perhaps, AnoHana itself was inspired by the words of the song…seriously. Reading the lyrics it really seems to capture the mood that the show itself is trying to convey, that sense of bittersweet nostalgia for lost childhood.

  • May 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

    You’re absolutely right. The integration of this song into AnoHana has been flawless and amazingly complementary. It was my first time hearing this song, and I’m not sure I would’ve found it as impactful if I hadn’t heard it in conjunction with this deeply touching anime.

  • May 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I really love this song. I heard it for the first time in Ano Hana and I suddenly found myself listening to all the covers I could grab hold of. I quite like SCANDAL’s version, but I do agree that given the context of the show and the performance, this cover is the best.

    What I found a bit cool about this version is that it was actually released 10 years after the original, following the lyrics “I believe that ten years later in August, we’ll meet again.”

    Another cover I really liked was this acoustic guitar version I found on Nico. It really gives off a calm and nostalgic feeling.

  • May 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    excellent post, very much. I found some time this technology music. this written in good talent. Is provide value. Yes, this can be hundreds of sites every week. Pleased to read! I ‘m from to the Russia.. this technology music with girl having white hair is not in my land!

    Haha! is joke. is Russian way.

  • May 26, 2011 at 12:11 am

    It’s pretty enjoyable how though this song is essentially a cover, how it stands apart from ZONE’s original through that tempo. It really does a great job of heightening the emotions that this song delivers upon.

    And as for the 0:35 pause, are you referring to the one in the full version? If so, I do like how it helps set the stage for the verses. If you’re referring to the video, yeah, that’s a bit of an odd placement, though it does segue into a very beautiful reset as it splashes all that color on the flower petals. Maybe its function in the full version is to shift the flowing emotions so that the listener can absorb the verse’s sentiments before the chorus really comes in…

    As I mentioned to roy, both versions stand on their own pretty well and ZONE’s PV does an awesome job of giving us an idea for the emotions that run through it. I know I came close to tearing up quite a few times as I listened to it.

    That would be something, wouldn’t it? I’ve written short stories based on a piece of music that’s inspired me before, but to derive an entire anime based off a song? Well, it could happen. The match is just too perfect that you wonder how much time the producers put into finding a song that allows people to internalize the events of each episode through an impactful piece such as this.

    @Austin Otaku
    I’d like to think that it can stand well on its own because the way the seiyuu’s deliver the lyrics doesn’t really require too much imagination to figure out what sort of emotions they’re channeling. Like you said, both the anime and this song complement each other and having seen the show, it’s hard to imagine a song that fits Ano Hana better than this one.

    @Suzushina Yuriko
    That 10-year fact was certainly not lost on me! It was definitely a nice touch that makes it all the more to appreciate.

    And thanks for the acoustic arrange. When the acoustic guitar is played like that, the sense of nostalgia is really heightened, especially since there are so many guitar pieces that stress the distance from the past as well as the regrets associated with all that.

    @boris Ivanov
    Technology music post comes with this situtation good but I have hhelp from my friends over. Just ask writing and you will get sucess, in real live and in reality. in case you’are have an opinion for your live writing: ask woman or I can give you one from my colection lol. I don`t exactely need them b/c I own many of it but what is there sounds intersteing and I have expirience with that, so maybe yeah.

    how ever it can`t be right now b/c my foot is broken, a air condition fell on my foot two days ago, I`am handycapped

    Also Russian way. С днём рождения!

  • May 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Ha! certainly this serviccs is clearly the need- to be so. sir my friend boris,, I recall days where clesrly was not! please, let myself tell this sotry of mypsef and mister zzaropartcl/. Mister zzaropraticle and i myself was in land of icy freeze and vodka, that is to be, siberia! We kill many bear and slave girl. was good life,, drinking much blood of bear.

    but, very bad thing happen. great soviet regime fall. was like great gate of Kiev itself melting like icicle cube! new making of new rules! Nnot please me and Mistrr zzaropaticles! Say cannot kill bear;; say cannot kill more than 3((three!) slave girls per annual! rise drinking age of drinnking to 12 of age! Price of axe and submashin rifling gun double! so i’aam saying to mister. zzaropraticl,, i say to him: “mister zzaropraticle,, I say to you comrade my friend,, let us take our axes and submashin rifling guns and go to land of capitalist piglets( they call this place america, yes)! We wil killing much bear and slave girl there! Throw away you”r craziness of idea of skateboarding apparatus store! Your english is like a god! (you see, he is speak very terriffic english) I say to him they will surely make you rich man,, perhap even czar! Haha!

    so one day we swim accrossing ocean, killing many whale, and we passing puny land of jipon,, and mister zzaropartcle say to me “mister aftershok, sir, I say to you, this is what I say, this land is one of much good technology msuic. Perhap, if we shall go to land of america, we shall do intranet web site for this tenology musics!””

    now, in the land of Russia, as you know MIster boris, sir, only havng 2((tow) intranet web site: government and vodka distillery. we finally decide to take axes and submashin rifling guns and families to the land of americca and start web stie

    and now air conditioning falling on his foot! funny haha!

    is joke, no insurancie having, so is actually very sad

  • June 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    sir can you please tell me the title of that BGM the one in piano… the sad one thanks..

    • June 2, 2011 at 11:08 am

      That I can’t since there are just so many. Best of luck in finding it!

  • June 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    I actually like what AnoHana did to this song, they turned it into an emotional heartfelt song. You actually feel the cherishing and guilt while remembering childhood memories while knowing that the only way to move is forward.

    Kudos to Norihiko Machida for making this version of Secret Base, considering the original ZONE version is a march.

    • June 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

      Yeah, that’s definitely a hard one to overcome since ZONE’s version was so well done. But through the three seiyuu, I’m quite pleased to see how well the emotions flowed out, hitting all the right spots to really capture the heartfelt nature of the anime series.

  • June 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    [late to the party]

    I did not know that Secret Base was the ending to Kyou no Go no Ni. Agh, the song sounded so familiar but I brushed it off as deja vu.

    After youtubing around for a while, I feel like the original was a pretty good match for 5-2. Its fast pace was just the right mix of emotional impact vs. upbeat, cheerful-ness for a show like Kyou no Go no Ni. Also, this 10 years after version fits AnoHana really well. What a versatile song!

    • June 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      You mean the original track by ZONE or are you talking about the one with the Kyou no Go no Ni seiyuu? I do prefer the original by quite a bit since the one by the seiyuu seem a bit… kiddy? Not enough actual time between the moments to really captivate that sense of nostalgia. That’s part of why Ano Hana’s version resonates so well!

  • June 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Bah, didn’t even know there was a difference. Youtube’d “Secret Base,” and a bunch of anohana videos came up and blah ugh

    The ZONE original sounds much closer to the AnoHana one, but I still think the Kyou no Go no Ni cover fit the show. A lot of nostalgia comes across in the AnoHana version, but I like the upbeat, uplifting-ish 5-2 version as well. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand the Japanese lyrics?

    Also the ZONE original is awesome. imo it’s better than either of the seiyuu covers.

    • June 25, 2011 at 1:47 am

      It’s interesting since the kind of nostalgia I felt pouring forth was more reminiscing that uplifting. Well, no doubt about it that I’ve really been drawn into Ano Hana’s sentiments, and so, the bit of regret I think is fitting (I really ought to google up the translation of the lyrics to confirm.

      And yeah, ZONE’s version fits the legendary mold for being as expressive as it was.

  • October 13, 2011 at 2:09 am

    "Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. " is the saddest anime series I have ever seen, and also has the longest of all the anime series and movies I know. I would rate it 10 out of 10 if I were to rate it.

    I like the song too, a really sad song with a memorable history. The lyrics are so…heart touching.

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