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.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Circus -- Kaze no Meruhen (風のメルヘン)

The song I always associate with vocal group Circus is "Mr. Summertime", their jazzy hit from the late 70s. However, I am also drawn to this one, "Kaze no Meruhen"(Fairy Tale of the Wind), their 14th single from April 1983. I first heard it on "Sounds of Japan", and as the title suggested, Ken Sato's(佐藤健) melody had that wistfully fantastical air about it done in a City Poppish style. The "Meruhen"is derived from the German "Maerchen".

But it wouldn't be for many years when I was living in Japan that I would find out that "Kaze no Meruhen" had been the theme of an NTV animated program from 1983 to 1984 titled "Manga Nihon Shi"まんが日本史...Manga Japanese History). It just so happened that the series was being rerun on the network in the late afternoons when I was doing some channel surfing. The program depicted important chapters in Japanese history in an anime format, and from what I saw, the enterprise was taken quite seriously, so no asynchronous goofball mascots or bizarre humour. The lyrics by Keisuke Yamakawa(山川啓介), sung just as wistfully by Circus, hinted at characters bound together eternally by love and the passage of time but in different reincarnations who may or may not remember each other.

I think as much as "Mr. Summertime"reminded me somewhat of a Japanese Manhattan Transfer doing their jazz, "Kaze no Meruhen" reminded me when the Transfer did their more contemporary pop stuff of the early 80s.


  1. Thanks J-Canuck for this great post on サーカス's 「風のメルヘン」. While 「Mr.サマータイム」 is definitely their biggest hit, they released some other great songs as well like 「アメリカン・フィーリング」, 「時よゆるやかに」 and 「FASCINATION」. While a lot of their songs tended to be on the mellow side, they did do some up-tempo songs like 「WOMAN IN LOVE」 which is one of my favorites from them. While group is good as a whole I liked 原順子 and 卯月節子's vocals better although 叶央介 and 嶋田徹 had pretty good voices as well.

  2. Man, anime from that era had some great theme songs.


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