To day is the 7th anniversary of the death of Izumi Sakai of the band ZARD.
Izumi Sakai is a legend in the Japanese music world and also the anisong world. Sakai-son influence can still be seen in the anisong world today, her songs are still being used for openings and endings songs in numerous animes. I first heard ZARD when watching the anime "Secret of blue water" Sakai-son preformed the opening song and several insert songs. I loved how powerful her voice was and soon after that I began collecting her albums and singles. Unfortunately for me at the same time I was also getting in to L'Arc~en~ciel and they over took ZARD in my CD buying money. I still occasionally ordered ZARD CDs but by 2003 I had stopped all together. I stopped for about 3 years than in mid 2006 I got back in to Sakai-son music. I was in Japan by this time and it was much more essay for me to get a hold of ZARD goods like CDs, VCDs and VHS tapes. I also learned that Sakai-son had cancer and was undergoing treatment. Unfortunately less than a year later Izumi Sakai past away in hospital after a fall down a stairway.
The death of this brilliant musician shocked the Japanese music world, Many of my friends who are still to this day huge ZARD fans wear devastated by this. I was sad but nowhere as much as some of my friends.
That said ZARD's influence on other artist such as Nana Mizuki can't be denied, Sakai-sons songs her unique style of music can never be overtaken. I truly miss her voice, her odd shy character off stage and her powerful character on stage. This year why watching Animelo Summer Live 2012 on DVD I was surprised to tears to see Konomi Suzuki. Iori Nomizu and Sachika Misawa preform "Blue Water" the first ZARD song I ever heard.
Izumi Sakai-son touch millions with her music and truly was the first anison to break in to mainstream music, years before Nana Mizuki. We who love ZARD's music still miss Izumi Sakai-son and always will.
I've linked a video made by sibant on YouTube that is a moving memorial to Izumi Sakai-son, the song used in the video is Izumi Sakai song "Ano Hohoemio Wasurenaide". ( my favorite ZARD song. )