Review | Wataru Hatano “Breakers”

Wataru Hatano arrives late in 2021 with “Breakers” but he comes to steal the show with one of the most refreshing singles of the year.

Title: Breakers
Release date: 24/11/2021
Label: Avex Pictures
Genre: Minimalistic Pop / Funk-pop


1 - Breakers
2 - Heart To Heart
3 - Breakers (Instrumental)
4 - Heart To Heart (Instrumental)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Breakers

A dramatic piano melody leads the way for “Breakers”. It slowly paints a melancholic soundscape that serves as the backdrop for Wataru Hatano’s emotional vocals.

The verses build up the tension in a unique way, coming from a stripped-down section – piano and voice only – to a chorus that introduces hip-hop triplets and adds fat, bassy synths on top.

The 2nd verse welcomes an ethereal choir in the background however, the song still sounds devoid of anything in its soundscape, being haunting for the most part.

There is something strangely addictive to “Breakers”. While it is minimalistic from start to finish, it has a depth in its composition that will go under the radar for many.

The deliberate silences, the intensity in the chorus yet never going beyond this controlled, almost eerie vibe it has going on even to the vocals, seldom rise in tension. This song is mesmerizing in its simplicity.

And to top it all off, Wataru Hatano delivers a contained yet incredibly powerful performance, showcasing his control in the verses and technique in the chorus and bridge (his head voice/falsetto combo is as stunning as ever).

2 – Heart To Heart

Wrapping up this single is “Heart to Heart”, a song that has a perky tone to itself, bringing to the spotlight a retro funky sound. The bassline is punchy, the drums are playful and incredibly bassy while the guitars are funky and the synths add a trendy twist to this song.

The verses ride on a comfortable tempo, fully embracing its groovy tone yet never overwhelming the listener. The stage is set for Wataru Hatano’s fancy vocals to shine.

The chorus is catchy and a bundle of fun, with strings joining in this part to add a pinch of elegance to this tune.

Wataru Hatano is in his element in this song, making the best use of his versatile skillset to deliver a performance overflowing with falsetto, sweet mid-tones, and a lot of good vibes.

What a way to wrap up this single.

Final considerations

It’d been a while since Wataru Hatano last released music so I was craving something new from him and what did I get?

A flawless since with one of the most refreshing performances of the year in it.

“Breakers” – the song – is a massive surprise even by Wataru Hatano’s standards.

While he always experiments with new music genres for his singles, he had never released a song like this, hauntingly beautiful. Empty yet so rich at its core.

With Evan Call as the composer for “Breakers”, I was expecting something incredibly technical but he really went the extra mile to make this song memorable more so than technical.

This is a chilling song with a crystal-clear piano melody at its core but beyond that, there is not much going on in the instrumental. Slowly, deep, bassy synths join in and the song takes on a different shape, bringing an eerie twist to the spotlight.

And its b-side is a banger. “Heart To Heart” is an elegant funky tune that adds a lot of bounce in this single, bringing a groovy bassline and playful guitar riffs to the spotlight while Wataru Hatano takes center stage and absolutely owns this performance.

All in all, Wataru Hatano’s “Breakers” may have arrived late in 2021 but is, easily, one of the best singles of the year due to its sheer quality, and the focus on letting the vocals do the “talking” while with incredibly simplistic instrumentals.

[Disclaimer: Since Hatano is signed with AVEX pictures THTFHQ won’t publish links to CDJAPAN’s store (or any store) as all are abiding to the label’s request not to export any of AVEX pictures‘ artist releases. More info on this can be found – HERE]

Breakers” is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support Wataru Hatano by streaming via official outlets.


Wataru Hatano surprises everyone with a hauntingly beautiful performance in the empty eerie "Breakers". That dark tone is balanced with the funky tune "Heart To Heart" that will have you grooving along to it in no time. Between refreshing instrumentals and powerful performances by Wataru Hatano, "Breakers" - the single - arrives to steal the show in 2021, standing out as one of the best singles released this year.


Heart To Heart
Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).





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