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At first blush, the Japanese success of the animated film “Frozen” seems easy to explain. In a country where people pack Tokyo Disneyland on weekdays, of course a new princess-centric cartoon from Disney would succeed, but “Frozen” has been a phenomenon all its own. It’s on pace to be the second-highest-grossing film in Japanese history, and has become an inescapable presence in pop culture this year.

The soundtrack to “Frozen” boasts similar success. It topped the Oricon album charts for three straight weeks, the first animated-film soundtrack to do so since 1979. The musical numbers from the movie — in particular dramatic centerpiece “Let It Go,” originally sung in English by Idina Menzel — are more likely to be heard on TV or blasting through public speakers than any new AKB48 single. It’s the most ever-present music from the most ever-present movie of the year. So, how did “Frozen” (rendered as “Anna to Yuki no Joo [Anna and the Snow Queen]” in Japanese) pull it off?

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