On February 11, the Japanese band Kobukuro released a special version of their music video for their song “Graduation,” starring TWICE‘s Sana!

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Kobukuro (left) and Sana (right). | Billboard Japan

The song was first released on March 31, 2020, as a gift to students who couldn’t attend in-person graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This special music video follows in that theme, except that it’s meant to portray adults who look back upon their graduation celebrations and how far they’ve come in life. Many teens and young adults living through this pandemic will remember virtual celebrations, which ties into the production of this music video.

With the use of LED screens, we were able to reproduce the streets of Osaka and South Korea. While looking back on the fun memories of Osaka, these sights connect to a Korea full of hope and then to a beautiful space where cherry blossoms dance. It was very difficult to convey the production to Sana and the staff remotely and although we discovered many things we need to improve upon, it was a fresh and valuable experience.

-Takuto Shinbo, the director of the MV, told Billboard Japan.

| コブクロ 公式チャンネル/YouTube

This song and the experience of filming the music video was incredibly special to Sana: on top of being a fan of the band, they hail from the same hometown, Osaka, Japan. The song and music video reminded her of her childhood, as it portrayed her journey as a young girl in Japan to a grown woman in South Korea. Shooting this music video gave her the chance to reflect upon her memories and her own graduation, and the path her life has taken since then.

Before shooting the music video, the staff filmed certain places in Osaka that were familiar to me and seeing those places, looking back, I was able to recall even more memories of that time. It was extremely fun being able to feel the perspective of Kobukuro. They’re an artist that added color to many people’s youths, so it was a great honor to receive this request.

-Sana, about working with Kobukuro.

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Sana’s statement on the music video. | @sanapen2912/Twitter

This is the first time since her debut that she has worked with a Japanese artist, but they have nothing but praise for her.

The video portrayed Sana who positively moves forward towards the future. Sana received us with a smile that had no hidden agenda and helped us make up for parts that couldn’t be portrayed remotely, showing us a world-class performance. It was a huge honor being able to work with an artist who competes on the world stage.

-Takuto Shinbo

| コブクロ 公式チャンネル/YouTube

The music video is truly gorgeous, and in the words of Takuto Shinbo, we “hope this video will make you feel positive and fresh.” You can watch it below!