If you’re a fan of Japanese horror movies, you’ve probably heard of Hideo Nakata, the prolific director of classic hair-raisers such as Don’t Look Up (Joyu-rei), Ring, and Ring 2. Although he’s a known master of the genre, he decided to take on a completely different kind of story and tone for his upcoming new film Owatta Hito - meaning “the finished person” in Japanese - a dramedy about a retired man struggling to find meaning in life and how he rebuilds his faltering relationship with his working wife.
The Japanese singer Miki Imai recently released the music video for this movie’s theme song called “Anata Ha Anata No Mama De Ii,” which roughly translates to “you’re fine just the way you are.” Imai worked with Nakata 19 years ago on Ring 2, singing the theme song “Kori No Yoni Hohoende,” and the director asked her to sing again for his latest film because “she was our lucky muse for Ring 2 and she’s the only one who can delicately express the worldview of the married couple in this film.”
The song was written specifically for the movie by guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei - Imai’s husband - at the director’s request. Imai and Hotei, both in their mid-50s, could relate to the protagonist, and Hotei says that “this movie gave us strength.” Imai was immediately drawn to the shocking title and was curious to see how Nakata would tell the story. “Probably because I’m also walking the autumn of life,” she says, “Some things are finished, but not everything. …But it’s not all bad. I felt so glad to have been involved in this work. It’s a lovely film.”
Miki Imai’s new song “Anata Ha Anata No Mama De Ii” will be included in her 20th studio album Sky set for release on June 6. Hideo Nakata’s new film Owatta Hito will be released in Japanese theaters on June 9.