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[Updated] Utada Hikaru officially announces her return to music, new album to be released on September 28th
Update 2: Utada Hikaru has officially updated her YouTube channel with two songs, Manatsu no Toriame and Hanataba wo kimi ni. None of the songs are related to Kingdom Hearts. You can listen to both songs below:
Manatsu no Toriame
Hanataba wo kimi ni
Update 3: On July 8th 2016, Hikaru's website was updated with news of the release date for her new album set for September 28th of this year. This is her first original full album since her last Japanese-language album Heart Station released 8 years ago. The new album, title unannounced, will include previously-released tracks such as "Hanataba o Kimi ni","Manatsu no Toriame", and "Sakura Nagashi."
The original article follows.
Utada Hikaru, known for performing the opening songs "Simple and Clean" and "Sanctuary" for the Kingdom Hearts series, has officially announced her return to music. Hikaru has been on a 5-year hiatus that is now officially over. Via Hikaru's website, she is currently working on two projects: The first song she announced is the opening song titled "Hantaba wo Kibi ni" for the NHK drama Toto Nee-chan and the second is going to serve as the ending song for NTV's news program News Zero. This song's title will be released later on. Both of these songs are scheduled to be used by April 4th, so look forward to hearing Hikaru's new songs then.
In celebration of the musician's return, she has launched a new website that features an animated Cherry Blossom tree. As fans use a special hashtag on Twitter (#おかえりHIKKI or #WelcomebackHIKKI) or as fans buy her new songs, the animated tree will grow more and more flowers. This is a charity event called the "New-Turn" project. Money raised as part of this project will go toward planting cherry blossom trees in areas affected by the 2011 Tohaku earthquake and tsunami.
Of course, this does not confirm Hikaru's involvement in Kingdom Hearts III, but her official return to music is certainly a good sign. Now that Utada Hikaru has officially returned to music, what are your hopes for her involvement in Kingdom Hearts III? Would you like to see her return, or would you rather have someone else? Let us know in the comments below!