Sen to Rei

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"Sen to Rei" (Japanese: セントレイ, "1000 & 0") (Japanese pronunciation: [seɴ to ɾeː) is a song by Japanese band Sakanaction. Sen to Rei_sentence_0

It was released as a digital download on November 12, 2008, and on December 10 was released as the band's first physical CD single. Sen to Rei_sentence_1

Background and development Sen to Rei_section_0

Shin-shiro was the band's first album after joining the main Victor Entertainment roster and signing a contract with management group Hipland Management. Sen to Rei_sentence_2

In Spring 2009, the band moved to Tokyo from Hokkaido. Sen to Rei_sentence_3

The album was primarily created by band members in vocalist Ichiro Yamaguchi's apartment in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. Sen to Rei_sentence_4

Before the band had moved to Tokyo in the spring of 2009, the song "Adventure" was originally planned to be the leading single from the album, in the place of "Sen to Rei". Sen to Rei_sentence_5

"Adventure" was written by Yamaguchi to consciously give the band a more accessible sound. Sen to Rei_sentence_6

Yamaguchi had intended to make music that blended underground and "high entertainment" pop music sounds on the band's first two studio albums, Go to the Future (2007) and Night Fishing (2008), however found that the band was predominantly seen as more underground than pop. Sen to Rei_sentence_7

Yamaguchi realized that in order to balance underground and "entertainment"-based pop music styles better, he needed to add more entertaining aspects. Sen to Rei_sentence_8

Yamaguchi considered "Adventure" the first step towards this sound, and challenged themselves to develop their popular sound more in "Sen to Rei". Sen to Rei_sentence_9

"Sen to Rei" became crucial to the creation of Shin-shiro, as the band created the entire album in response to the song, considering what aspects of Sakanaction's sound should listeners who had heard "Sen to Rei" hear, in order to experience all of Sakanction. Sen to Rei_sentence_10

The single was the group's final release with BabeStar Label, before they moved onto Victor Entertainment's main roster. Sen to Rei_sentence_11

It was also the start of their relationship with stylist Hisashi "Momo" Kitazawa. Sen to Rei_sentence_12

Composition Sen to Rei_section_1

"Sen to Rei" is a song recorded in common time, with a major key of E and set at a tempo of 132 beats per minute. Sen to Rei_sentence_13

It begins with an instrumental introduction, including guitars, bass guitars, keyboards and drums, with a strong "guitar rock" sound mixes with synthesizers. Sen to Rei_sentence_14

The verses begin with a chord progression of C♯m-A-Am-E, while the chorus begins with an Am-Emaj7-G♯m-E-A progression. Sen to Rei_sentence_15

The song's lyrics are written entirely in Japanese. Sen to Rei_sentence_16

The song's protagonist walks around at night-time, jet lagged after a night flight and "escaping the saddening night". Sen to Rei_sentence_17

He discovers he can see an "intertwined world" after counting to 1,000 on his hand. Sen to Rei_sentence_18

The final stanza of the lyrics discusses spatial dimensions: how "on the other side of 1000 and 0, and lines and points" he is a layered world, connecting him to another person. Sen to Rei_sentence_19

Writing and production Sen to Rei_section_2

"Sen to Rei" was composed by Yamaguchi on the acoustic guitar, and was originally a much more sad and sentimental song. Sen to Rei_sentence_20

For Shin-shiro's album sessions, vocalist Yamaguchi tried a different approach to creating songs: after making the basic melody and lyrics, he assigned each of the members of Sakanction to a create a demo for one song each, and then developed the songs together. Sen to Rei_sentence_21

Kusakari was working on "Sen to Rei", and was the fastest to finish her demo, and the only member to bring a fully completed demo to her meeting with Yamaguchi. Sen to Rei_sentence_22

Yamaguchi asked Kusakari to make a "guitar rock"-style song, and asked her to make a song that teenagers would enjoy listening to. Sen to Rei_sentence_23

The demo that Kusakari produced was much more rock than Yamaguchi had intended, as Yamaguchi had wanted to balance pop music with Sakanaction's underground dance sound. Sen to Rei_sentence_24

Eventually the band created a hybrid sound for the song, mixing guitar-based rock and electronica. Sen to Rei_sentence_25

The process of creating a guitar-based rock song reminded Kusakari of her teenager years before joining Sakanaction, when she performed in rock and punk bands in Sapporo. Sen to Rei_sentence_26

One of the techniques used by the band to make the song more pop was to increase the tempo to 138 BPM. Sen to Rei_sentence_27

Yamaguchi initially felt embarrassed that the band were able to create such a pop song, however after the song's release found that the band's audience responded well to the style, the band integrated the pop style found on "Sen to Rei" into the band's music, eventually becoming a central part of Sakanaction's musical identity. Sen to Rei_sentence_28

Yamaguchi's lyrics for the song were inspired by space and space in the style of the manga Galaxy Express 999. Sen to Rei_sentence_29

He based his lyrics on his ideas of what four-dimensional space would be like, considering the fourth dimension to be imagination running inside minds. Sen to Rei_sentence_30

The use of a large number and a number used to represent nothingness in the title "Sen to Rei" was meant to express the relative difference between each spatial dimension: changing from a single point, to a line, to a 3D object. Sen to Rei_sentence_31

Originally the band did not intend to release "Sen to Rei" as a physical single, but during its production they realized that the song was more appropriate to be released as a single, rather than simply as an album track. Sen to Rei_sentence_32

The band created the three tracks on the physical single to complement each other, in the style of an extended play more so than a stand-alone single track with B-sides. Sen to Rei_sentence_33

While "Sen to Rei" was written attempting to bridge popular and underground sounds, "Ame (A)" was written as a straightforward pop song, and "Modokashii Hibi" as an underground song. Sen to Rei_sentence_34

"Ame (A)" was an attempt by the band to create a "pop Sakanaction" sound, where Yamaguchi attempted to create story-like lyrics, and the band worked on a 1970s kayōkyoku-inspired retro sound. Sen to Rei_sentence_35

"Modokashii Hibi" featured aspects of the band's sound that were not present in "Sen to Rei" that they wanted to show off to new listeners. Sen to Rei_sentence_36

The recording features the sound of a metal bucket that Yamaguchi purchased. Sen to Rei_sentence_37

Part way through recording, the bucket's handle broke off, and this sound as well as Iwadera laughing were included in the final mix of the song. Sen to Rei_sentence_38

Promotion and release Sen to Rei_section_3

The song was first unveiled during the band's festival performance at the Rising Sun Rock Festival in Otaru on August 16, 2008. Sen to Rei_sentence_39

The song was promoted on the Toyama Television program BBT Music Selection as its opening theme music, and was put into heavy rotation by the Nippon TV music program Music Fighter. Sen to Rei_sentence_40

The song was put into heavy rotation by music stations across Japan in December, and the music video in heavy rotation by MTV Japan. Sen to Rei_sentence_41

Sakanaction made radio appearances in December, on FM Osaka, FM802, FM Hokkaido and FM North Wave, and were featured in the November and December issues of the magazines B-Pass, Nikkei Entertainment!, Kansai Walker, Musica and Rockin' On Japan. Sen to Rei_sentence_42

To promote the single, Sakanaction performed two live concerts in the same day at the Cube Garden in Sapporo: Rei Live (REI(零)LIVE) in the afternoon and Sen Live (SEN(千)LIVE) in the evening of December 20, 2008. Sen to Rei_sentence_43

Following the theme of naming the live concert after the song title, Sen Live had an entry fee of 1,000 yen, while Rei Live was free for entrants who applied with a form attached to the "Sen to Rei" single. Sen to Rei_sentence_44

The song is a frequent part of Sakanaction's live concert sets, and live recordings of the song have been released by the band six times: in the bonus track on the "Aruku Around" (2010) single featuring audio of three songs from the Sakanaquarium 2009 concert in Sapporo, twice on their Sanakaquarium 2010 DVD set, as performed at the Kikuuiki tour final at the Shinkiba Studio Coast on May 15, 2010 and at their Nippon Budokan concert on October 8, 2010, as well as on their Sakanaquarium 2011 video album, Sakanaquarium 2012 "Zepp Alive" digital live album and their Sakanatribe 2014 video album releases. Sen to Rei_sentence_45

The song was compiled as the opening track on Getting Better 15th Anniversary presents Getting Roll: Rock Anthem Mix, a CD mixed by rock DJ Minoru Katahira celebrating fifteen years of the Getting Better rock event. Sen to Rei_sentence_46

Both "Ame (A)" and "Modokashii Hibi" were compiled on the Tsuki no Namigata disc of the band's compilation album Natsukashii Tsuki wa Atarashii Tsuki: Coupling & Remix Works (2015). Sen to Rei_sentence_47

Music video Sen to Rei_section_4

The music video for the song was directed by Keitaro Toyoda. Sen to Rei_sentence_48

It features all five members of Sakanaction performing the song in the dark. Sen to Rei_sentence_49

This is followed by scenes of the camera moving towards a bright light source, with the band members juxtaposed onto the beams. Sen to Rei_sentence_50

Toyoda was inspired to create the video after hearing of the song's themes, and depicted the band travelling from the first to the fourth dimension. Sen to Rei_sentence_51

Yamaguchi asked Toyoda to specifically emphasize the rock and human aspects of the song and the band, rather than the electronic sound. Sen to Rei_sentence_52

Critical reception Sen to Rei_section_5

Sakiko Okazaki of Rockin' On Japan praised the song's high-pitched synthesizers, fast-paced guitars, groovy bass and heart-hitting drums, and felt the song expressed the vigor of Sakanaction. Sen to Rei_sentence_53

CDJournal reviewers felt "Sen to Rei" expressed loneliness, and praised the new Sakanaction-style guitar rock, as well as their ever-changing style. Sen to Rei_sentence_54

The reviewers were impressed with Yamaguchi's chorus vocals, which changed from "subtle and tender to hopeful and empowered", and called the song a "fast-paced killer tune". Sen to Rei_sentence_55

They noted that the song was not very "showy", however felt that despite this, Sakanaction still expressed a "high quality hybrid" sound. Sen to Rei_sentence_56

Kuniko Yamada of Bounce praised the song's "sprinting feeling", and noted how Sakanaction were comfortable with creating more standard "guitar rock" songs as well. Sen to Rei_sentence_57

Entertainment Media Kulture named "Sample" as one of Sakanaction's early signature songs, feeling that the uptempo song positively worked against Sakanaction's prior image as a band. Sen to Rei_sentence_58

Reviewing the single as a whole, Okazaki described the B-sides as having "room temperature dance beats", and felt that they sounded fresh, in comparison to the highly powered "Sen to Rei". Sen to Rei_sentence_59

Track listings Sen to Rei_section_6

All tracks are written by Ichiro Yamaguchi. Sen to Rei_sentence_60

Personnel Sen to Rei_section_7

Personnel details for the song were sourced from Shin-shiro's liner notes booklet, while music video personnel were sourced from Sakanarchive 2007—2011: Sakanaction Music Video Collection. Sen to Rei_sentence_61

Sakanaction Sen to Rei_sentence_62

Personnel Sen to Rei_sentence_63

Music video personnel Sen to Rei_sentence_64

Chart rankings Sen to Rei_section_8

Sen to Rei_table_general_0

Charts (2008)Sen to Rei_header_cell_0_0_0 Peak

positionSen to Rei_header_cell_0_0_1

Japan Billboard Adult Contemporary AirplaySen to Rei_cell_0_1_0 45Sen to Rei_cell_0_1_1
Japan Billboard Japan Hot 100Sen to Rei_cell_0_2_0 9Sen to Rei_cell_0_2_1
Japan Oricon weekly singlesSen to Rei_cell_0_3_0 35Sen to Rei_cell_0_3_1

Sales and certifications Sen to Rei_section_9

Sen to Rei_table_general_1

ChartSen to Rei_header_cell_1_0_0 AmountSen to Rei_header_cell_1_0_1
Oricon physical salesSen to Rei_cell_1_1_0 6,000Sen to Rei_cell_1_1_1

Release history Sen to Rei_section_10

Sen to Rei_table_general_2

RegionSen to Rei_header_cell_2_0_0 DateSen to Rei_header_cell_2_0_1 FormatSen to Rei_header_cell_2_0_2 Distributing LabelSen to Rei_header_cell_2_0_3 Catalog codesSen to Rei_header_cell_2_0_4
JapanSen to Rei_cell_2_1_0 November 12, 2008 (2008-11-12)Sen to Rei_cell_2_1_1 ringtone, digital downloadSen to Rei_cell_2_1_2 BabeStar LabelSen to Rei_cell_2_1_3 VEAML-22686Sen to Rei_cell_2_1_4
December 10, 2008 (2008-12-10)Sen to Rei_cell_2_2_0 CD single, limited edition CD singleSen to Rei_cell_2_2_1 VICB-35013, VICB-35014Sen to Rei_cell_2_2_2
December 17, 2008 (2008-12-17)Sen to Rei_cell_2_3_0 rental CD singleSen to Rei_cell_2_3_1
South KoreaSen to Rei_cell_2_4_0 April 13, 2009 (2009-04-13)Sen to Rei_cell_2_4_1 digital download (EP)Sen to Rei_cell_2_4_2 J-Box EntertainmentSen to Rei_cell_2_4_3 N/ASen to Rei_cell_2_4_4

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: to Rei.