Credits

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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cast of "Joshiraku"/Momoiro Clover Z -- O-Ato ga Yoroshikutte...YO!/Nippon Egao Hyakkei (お後がよろしくって。。。よ!・ニッポン笑顔百景)


One of the other anime along with "Mawaru Penguindrum" and "Kamisama wo Hajimemashita" that I enjoyed last year was "Joshiraku" (じょしらく....Girls In Rakugo), a show about 5 zany rakugo comediennes bantering backstage and in the famous neighbourhoods of Tokyo. Based on the manga by Koji Kumeta(久米田康治), it was a Japanese cartoon mix of the irreverent and irrelevant wordplay of "Seinfeld" and the gags of "Airplane" which took aim at just about anything within the Land of the Rising Sun including politics, restaurants, lottery tickets and Akihabara. There was even the most sociopathic rabbit since the little bunny from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". What's not to love?

The beginning and ending theme songs have also become the proverbial earworms in my noggin since I first started watching the show. The opening song which is sung by the cast is "O-Ato ga Yoroshikutte....YO!" (Thank You For Your Continued Support), the signoff that is given by the rakugo-ka at the end of the performance. It is a fun frenetic blast of electric guitar, synth and shamisen that goes well with the crackpot joy of the opening credit sequence.




The song was released as a single in August 2012, and created by Aki Hata and Satoru Kousaki(畑亜貴・神前暁). The theme kinda reminds me in spirit of the theme song for that old American cartoon, "The Flintstones" back in the 60s. Both of them have that welcoming feeling in asking the viewers to come and join the characters for a little while. "O-Ato ga Yoroshikutte....YO!" actually went as high as No. 20 on Oricon.



The ending theme by Kenichi Maeyamada(前山田健一), "Nippon Egao Hyakkei" (100 Views of Japanese Smiles), probably singlehandedly shredded the larynxes of the members of the aidoru group, Momoiro Clover Z (under the guise of Momokuro Tei Ichimon....桃黒亭一門) before they got it recorded for release, especially the pun-filled rap at the beginning. It has that mix of dance beats and festival-fueled patter and melody while the girls ham it up during the ending credits. Not sure if the DJ was wearing a backwards cap or a hachimaki.


Released in September 2012, the song peaked at No. 6 on Oricon, and guest-starred The Yoshida Brothers(吉田兄弟), a shamisen act that has garnered attention within Japan and overseas. I've heard both themes on my anime buddy's massive stereo system, and afterwards, I needed something distinctly decaffeinated to calm myself down.



4 comments:

  1. I like Momoiro Clover Z, and "Nippon Egao Hyakkei" is one of my favorites by them. This festival vibe is incredible fun and the whole song is very busy and hyper active, which is a common thing in their discography. The live choreography is very cool too.

    It's pretty nice that you had the opportunity to listen to it, as Momoiro Clover Z is considered one of the most original and innovative aidoru group nowadays. Well, in an entertainment world dominated by AKB48 and Johnny's groups that's not really difficult to imagine.

    You should try some of their earlier songs, because they have a very strong "Japanese" feel. Their vocals were not on point, but it's worth a listen. If you're interested, you should try "Momoiro Punch", "Rough Style", "MILKY WAY", "Zenryoku Shoujo" and "D' no Junjou".

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    1. Hi, Marcos.

      Yeah, I've heard that the group really goes all out in their stage performances which has been gaining them all sorts of respect. I've heard one of their other songs for the anime "Moretsu Pirates"...another one to put the girls through their paces. I'll have to give those other tunes a listen as well.

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  2. Ha! One of the things I really like about your blog is how, when every once in awhile I check back to it and go through old stuff I've missed (and there's plenty of it since I've been so inactive in the "blogosphere" these past few years), I keep stumbling upon posts like that somewhat sidetracks from the usual stuff you cover and give main focus to and that often still happen to be something I'm very much into myself as well. :D

    The OP is quite good for what it is and remind me of some of the K-ON songs with slightly less fluff, but the ED was the one that really hit me when I watched this anime. Loved the absurd humor, the hyperactive delivery and the composition itself. One of the better post-2010 anime themes for me.

    Since you mentioned Mawaru Penguindrum (which was awesome indeed) I have to ask if you ever wached Shoujo Kakumei Utena by same creator? His earlier major work and widely considered a (polarising) classic ever since its release and I'm sure you've heard of it at least.

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    1. Hello, Nekromantis. Thanks for your comments, and I guess great minds think alike since I was re-reading this article for the first time in many moons just a few minutes ago.

      I've heard of Utena but never saw the anime. I've read about it on TV Tropes and it sounds like the never-boring Ikuhara. In fact, I've just gone through his latest anime, "Yurikuma Arashi". That was also quite the intriguing project and I now cannot get "SHOCK! KUMASHOCK!!" out of my head...sha-ba-da-doo.

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