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.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hanae -- Kamisama Hajimemashita (神様はじめました)

Over the past several months, I've been getting my fill of the latest anime. I did write one entry on a couple of the songs used in the mindbending "Mawaru Penguindrum". It was a crazily interesting show, and along with "Madoka Magica", they were pretty dark in nature. However, I also caught some lighter and lighthearted fare such as "Kamisama Hajimemashita"(Started Doing The God Thing) which came out late last year on TV Tokyo and was adapted from the manga by Julietta Suzuki. I just finished watching the series earlier this week and enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm not sure if any of you readers will remember or know some of the old American TV shows I'm referring to, but strangely enough, the story kinda reminded me of the 60s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" with Barbara Eden and the late Larry Hagman (later to become far more famous as the J.R. Ewing of "Dallas" fame), and the spiky banter between Nanami and Tomoe had me harkening back to some of the barbs that David and Maddie threw at each other in the 80s "Moonlighting" (yeah, I know, a bit of a stretch but the intent is still there). It was just a charming anime and it had one of the sweetest endings I've seen in some time.

I also have to say that I enjoyed the theme song by Fukuoka-born teenaged singer Hanae(ハナエ), and since it was the first thing I heard from the anime, it gave me a good impression of the show from the get-go. Written and composed by Shuichi Mabe(真部修一), this is her 3rd single, released in November 2012, and along with the ending theme of the show as the coupling song, it was able to get as high as No. 20 on the Oricon charts.

As much as I like the husky voices of chanteuses like Akina Nakamori and Kahoru Kohiruimaki, I guess I also have a thing for whispery tones, and hearing Hanae makes me think of Shibuya-kei singer Kahimi Karie to a certain extent. In addition, what makes the theme to "Kamisama Hajimemashita" appealing to me is Mabe's melody. I'm not sure if he used a real shamisen or if it's an amazing duplication on synthesizer, but I was a pretty big fan of the Japanese-American band, Hiroshima, way back when and they often used the shamisen for their AOR songs.

I guess, considering this is a 2012 song, it and the anime itself ironically contain plenty of nostalgic memories for me.

And here is Hiroshima's "One Wish", just to let you know what I mean.

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