Japanese title: 真夏の光線
Romaji title: manatsu no kousen
English title: A Ray of Light in Midsummer

Members: Nakazawa, Iida, Abe, Ishiguro, Yaguchi, Ichii, Yasuda

Release date: 1999.05.12 / 2005.03.02 (Re-release)

Catalog nr: EPDE-1033 / EPDA-5317 (Re-release)
Label: zetima

First press: no, but an application form for the «2nd Morning Musume & Heike Michiyo Protegee audition» is included (which would spawn Melon Kinenbi).

«Manatsu no Kousen» is Morning Musume‘s 5th single, and their first after Fukuda‘s graduation.

It was released on May 12th, 1999, containing the title track and it’s instrumental, as well as a B-side (Koi no Shihatsu Ressha). The single sold 122.610 copies in it’s first week, and a total of 235.010 copies charting for 9 weeks, earning them #3 on the Oricon charts. (Dissapointing sales, considering their previous single sold twice as much).

When making the PV, Iida was sick during the shooting of the scenes at the beach. If you pay close attention she doesn’t do the dance moves like the others do. She also fainted shortly after.

Music video for Manatsu no Kousen

Music video for Manatsu no Kousen

In 2004, a special «Early Single Box» was released, a limited edition box set containing their first eight singles reissued on 12cm CDs. The box set also contained a bonus 12cm karaoke CD with instrumentals of 15 popular songs from their first 3 albums and a 36 page color booklet. In 2005, the singles were released individually, and first press editions of these singles came with a photo card. All the 12 cm CDs contain an extra track for each single.

Tsunku’s comments about this release:

Interviewer: In May, in the middle of such a busy schedule, “Manatsu No Kousen” was released. I heard you were very certain this song was going to be such a big hit, but the result was rather disappointing. 

Tsunku: The song wasn’t cheerful enough. It didn’t have enough ‘wow’ value. But everything in this world is a guess work. It’s impossible to predict.

This is the second summer for Morning Musume. Since last summer, the members had just increased from 5 to 8. Since this summer, the member has changed from 8 to 7. This is a song I wrote, filled with Mo-town flavor. The main chorus was already decided ahead of time since the beginning of the creative stage. That’s why the harmony was created smoothly and easily. After listening to the raw recording of 7 girls’ voices, I kept having imageries of ocean, shaved ice, watermelon, and rhino beetles. That’s why I named the song as “Manatsu No Kousen” («A Ray of Light in Midsummer»). Please enjoy your summer of 1999 with this song.

Promo poster

Promo poster


Original release
01. 真夏の光線 (Manatsu no Kousen; A Ray of Light in Midsummer)
02. 恋の始発列車 (Koi no Shihatsu Ressha; The First Time the Train of Love Departures)
03. 真夏の光線 (Instrumental)

01. 真夏の光線 (Manatsu no Kousen; A Ray of Light in Midsummer)
02. 恋の始発列車 (Koi no Shihatsu Ressha; The First Time the Train of Love Departures)
03. 真夏の光線 (Instrumental)
04. 真夏の光線 (Early Version)

The 4th track on the re-release got the recording date setup in a hurry, the vocal, chorus, and the basic orchestra versions were all recorded on the same date, April 6th, 1999, in 3 separate studios. This specific version was recorded on April 6th, and the interlude after the 2nd chorus part is entirely different.

Because it’s an earlier version, the bass and brass instruments were still being played from the preprogrammed sequence software. Also, the “gaya” (cheers and chatters) such as “Fu Fu” and the chorus parts weren’t recorded yet. Abe’s main vocal take was also recorded on this day, and it’s a different version from the single’s.


真夏の光線 (Manatsu no Kousen)

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Shin Kouno

A Hawaiian version of this song is found on the single Morning Musume Single Medley ~Hawaiian~ and on the album Hawaiian de Kiku Morning Musume Single Collection (released in 2002).


恋の始発列車 (Koi no Shihatsu Ressha)

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Takao Konishi