single review: Shimatani Hitomi “ANGELUS / Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!-“

Ready to head into the Latino vibes of the next InuYasha tie-in single? Or how about the Olympian feel of the second song on this single?

Performed by yet another avex soloist, Shimatani Hitomi, whose music always has some part of the world to them, ‘ANGELUS / Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!’ serves as Hitomi’s first double-A-side single, with InuYasha’s sixth opening being the first and the other as TV Tokyo’s theme for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. With two vastly different styles packed in one release, there’s something here for two extremes! But will each song hold up on their own as zeroes to heroes, or are they just total zeroes?

ANGELUS / Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!-
For other ‘Shimatani Hitomi’ reviews, visit the archive.

I wish there was some promo image for this single… I literally found nothing (lol).

ANGELUS -アンジェラス-

Romanization/Translation: ANGELUS

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When I first came across this song as a wee little tween obsessed with anime, I was instantly hooked! From that speedy intro to that first bang to the next bang, “ANGELUS” is the Livin’ la Vida Loca that Japan deserves (sorry Ricky). The instrumental is hectic (filled with pianos, horns, twists, turns, claps, the works), loud, and filled with so much bang(s) for your buck, it is no wonder that when you talk to InuYasha fans about the music, it’s either the first set of songs from the series OR it’s this Latino, flamenco, bopping banger of a track (that also works so fittingly with its animation sequence). Outside of the anime, “ANGELUS” is a total stand-out from Hitomi’s works, opting for more dance and sex appeal, while still showcasing her incredible vocal prowess. And can we talk about that incredible dance break that has horns wailing in so many directions? We were sent a dark angel, and we deserve it so.

Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!-

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Contrasting “ANGELUS” is “Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!-“, an anthem-like song built around a pulsing synth, elements of electropop, and a grand piano. Several bits of the song include a chorus choir amplifying the chorus for that grand feel, almost like a hero has arrived. It is a fabulous song, with all its weird sounds joining together to really bring force and power to your ears. It really helps that Hitomi’s vocal range is so wide because it just wouldn’t feel right if anyone else was singing it. “Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!” is also incredibly catchy; you can’t help but join in singing: ‘zip to zipangu! zap to zipangu!’ I’m not catching Z’s from the song, no way.


Both songs are FANTASTIC. Being the first single to introduce me to Shimatani Hitomi, who also has a lot of other great works under her belt, it showed me how versatile Japanese pop musicians can be, and that we honestly have to thank anime and the Olympics for showing us this (I laugh, but no, really!). “ANGELUS” is a great Latino-pop jam and fits its opening sequence so much… InuYasha songs just don’t get better than this. As for “Z!Z!Z!”, it’s not a song I often listen to but it is a great song and is a perfect theme for any Olympic event really. A great effort from Hitomi, and a definite recommend from me to you.

MUST-LISTEN: ANGELUS -アンジェラス-, Z!Z!Z! -Zip! Zap! Zipangu!-

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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