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.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

H2O -- Lorelei/Bokura no Diary (ローレライ/僕等のダイアリー)

When it comes to the 80s pop duo, H2O, the hits, "Omoide ga Ippai" (思い出がいっぱい)and "10% no Ame Yohou" (10%の雨予報)come to mind as a set since both of them were used as themes for the anime, "Miyuki"(みゆき) in 1983. However, a few years before that, the Nagano Prefecture pair of Kenji Nakazawa(中沢賢司)and Masaki Akashio(赤塩正樹) ended up with their first 2 singles also being joined at the hip.

I've listened to H2O's BEST album, "Biography", a few times over the years, and I still remember the band's debut single, "Lorelei", which is this wistful, summer sunset sort of song meant to be played on the beach. Written by Akashio and Keisuke Yamakawa(山川啓介) and composed by Nakazawa, it was released in June 1980. What I didn't know was that it was also the theme song for a rom-com movie, "Tonda Couple" (翔んだカップル...The Soaring Couple), released in July of that year, based on a shonen manga of the same title first published in 1978. The plot involved a teenage boy on the fast track to head towards law school who, through a comedy of errors, has to share accommodations with the most beautiful girl in his high school. Hiroko Yakushimaru(薬師丸ひろ子), who would start her own singing career the following year, was that girl in the movie. The lyrics in "Lorelei" referred to both the movie heroine and the legendary siren who lured sailors to their deaths.

The movie garnered a couple of awards at The Yokohama Film Festival  for Yakushimaru and the director, Shinji Somai (the manga itself earned the Kodansha Award in 1979). Fuji-TV saw an opportunity and created a TV version which was broadcast from October 1980 to April 1981. H20 also came up with the ending theme for the series, "Bokura no Diary" (Our Diary), a little more faster-paced song written and composed by Takao and Etsuko Kisugi(来生たかお・えつこ). The Kisugi siblings tended to create adult contemporary tunes, so "Bokura no Diary", H20's 2nd single, has more of that City Pop feel to it. Listening to "Biography", I was surprised to realize that the duo tackled quite a bit of the genre.

H2O - Biography

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