The Kōhaku Uta Gassen is a Japanese New Year's entertainment institution, like the Times Square ball drop, but four hours long. The NHK broadcast "Red and White Song Battle" involves a red team of female musical talents and a white team of male artists. At the end of show, the audience and a panel of judges decide which team offered the better performance.
This year anime/game composer Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Macross F) has penned the opening theme to the festivities. She's said that her inspiration for the music is "facing toward a bright future."