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, October 19, 2013

Isao Sasaki -- Hoshi no Pendant (星のペンダント)

(cover version)

Hard to believe Isao Sasaki(ささきいさお) was once doing rockabilly tunes. The man is the master of the anison...especially when it comes to those majestic marches and ballads that he did for "Space Cruiser Yamato"(宇宙戦艦ヤマト). The goosebumps still stand up and salute whenever that main theme or "Makka no Scarf"(真っ赤のスカーフ) comes over the speakers.

"Hoshi no Pendant" (Star Pendant) may not be as well remembered as those two, but it's still one of those ballads that can get me in the nostalgic gut. Written by Yu Aku(阿久悠) and composed by Hiroshi Miyagawa(宮川泰), the men behind the original Yamato theme, it's another lush orchestral ballad sung by Sasaki for the third motion picture in the franchise, "Yamato yo Towa ni"(ヤマトよ永遠に...Be Forever Yamato). It seems that this particular movie which came out in August 1980, just in time for the kiddies during Summer Vacation, had quite the selection of epic tunes performed by Sasaki, Hiromi Iwasaki(岩崎宏美)and Akira Fuse(布施明). Half-jokingly, the movie could almost have been a musical.

This song also seems to be a hybrid of the Yamato march and the ballad that is "Makka no Scarf". It starts off as this stellar tender-hearted love song but then as it goes into the refrain, the horns make their staccato presence known. If I remember correctly, Sasaki cues in just when the Yamato launches yet again to save the Earth.

I had written the first Sasaki article in March last year just when the reboot of the franchise, "Space Cruiser Yamato 2199" was about to launch itself. Well, my friend and I have gone through the majority of the series, and I gotta say it's been a fine ride. Of course, the special effects have been kicked up way more than a notch, and there's quite a bit more story to chew on. I can say that J.J. Abrams may have been quite the inspiration.

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