I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PUFFY -- Asia no Junshin (アジアの純真)

The first time I heard of PUFFY was when I saw the official music video. At a time when the Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉) era of J-Pop was coming up with Shibuya-gal friendly artists, seeing these plain Janes dancing appealingly clumsily was a bit refreshing. Ami Ohnuki(大貫亜美) and Yumi Yoshimura(吉村由美) were lone singers lost in the giant SONY machine until Ohnuki asked former Unicorn frontman, Tamio Okuda(奥田民生), to include her newfound friend as a duo.

Okuda composed and arranged "Asia no Junshin" (Purity of Asia) as a song that ELO would love, with Yosui Inoue(井上揚水) providing the zany lyrics (Berlin, Dublin, Liberia, balalaika, lasagna). Weird Al Yankovic would have swooned about this debut song.

This eclectic mix of singers, lyrics and melody had a Cinderella ending. Released in May 1996, it hit the No. 3 position on the Oricon weeklies and earned PUFFY the Newcomers' Prize at the Japan Record Awards. It also sold over 1 million copies and launched the duo onto a successful career which has extended beyond Japan.

(June 17 2015: I've got a follow-up here)

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