Kingdom Hearts vocalist returns for sequel

Bilingual Japanese singer Hikaru Utada returns to sing the theme for Square Enix's sequel collaboration project with Disney.

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TOKYO--Square Enix announced today that bilingual Japanese vocalist Hikaru Utada will sing the Kingdom Hearts II theme song, titled "Passion." For the original Kingdom Hearts released in 2002, Utada sang the theme song "Hikari" in two versions, one in English and one in Japanese.

"When we were creating the original game, there were a lot of factors that were influenced by Utada-san's theme song. That influence will once again be felt in [our development of] Kingdom Hearts II," commented series director Tetsuya Nomura.

Utada's CD-single release of "Passion" is scheduled for release by Toshiba EMI sometime this winter, which means that Kingdom Hearts II should be coming out for the PlayStation 2 around the same time. But with today's theme song announcement, Square Enix has also rescheduled the game's release from "2005" to "Winter," meaning that it might not hit stores until next year. More-concrete details on the game's release date may be revealed at the Square Enix Party 2005 press event, which takes place tomorrow.

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