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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mari Iijima -- Cecile no Amagasa (Version II) (セシールの雨傘 (Version II))

Although I knew some of Mari Iijima’s (飯島真理) work for some time, it wasn’t until very recently that I came across “Cecile no Amagasa (Version II)” (セシールの雨傘 (Version II)). And while I listened to it for the very first time, my conclusion was that every second of it was great.

A true 80s masterpiece, “Cecile no Amagasa (Version II)” features some minimalistic and repetitive synths that together with the strong and consistent beat will mark the pace of the song. To be honest, this song is full of interesting things, like the melancholic melody, the gentle and vulnerable vocals, the subtle yet present piano, and even a sax solo in the middle of it. All these things together are what make this song such a nice listen. I don't know it that's the case, but I also ended up categorizing this song as City Pop. Maybe I'm wrong, but the idea kept floating in my mind.

Also, as the name points out, the version presented above is not the original single version of the song, but a "(Version II)" that can be found in Mari’s fourth album, “KIMONO STEREO”, which was released in November 1985 (source: The arrangement of both versions shares some similarities, but are also quite different. My preference, of course, is toward the album version, as, for me, it's a lot more polished, while the single version lacks some impact. But you can check the original single version in its official video below. Quality of sound and video are not amazing, though.

The music for “Cecile no Amagasa” was composed by Mari Iijima herself, while the lyrics were written by Takashi Matsumoto (松本隆).


  1. Album version for me here. I agree, it's a wonderful arrangement that's full of subtle details, although I kinda like the video that goes with the original. Iijima is an interesting singer in how at that point she was an aidoru and an artist at the same time. And she's also quite a talented vocalist who can emote so beautifully, like in this song. "Kimono Stereo" is a remarkable album in terms of music itself. Some of it is pretty artsy. I'll get a hold of my own copy, someday.

    1. Hi nikala.
      I also like the video, especially because Mari was a very cute young lady. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a live version. I'd love to enjoy it. And I agree with you about her aidoru/artist "status".
      I also want my own copy of "Kimono Stareo". I'd buy it in a near future if it wasn't out of print. It must be not very hard to find a copy in Japan, though. I also like her debut album, "Rose".

  2. Yep, I'm going with the album version as well, although I like both. It's the City Pop arrangement that won me over with the one in the album. I think Iijima could've composed some pretty nice tunes for Masayuki Suzuki.

    1. It's great that I wasn't wrong in categorizing this song as "City Pop". But I truly need to search for Masayuki Suzuki. I really don't know him.

    2. Hi again. You may find that some of his songs on the blog here have some similar instruments to the one used for the Iijima song. Also, Kazumasa Oda's late 80s and early 90s songs were quite similar as well. Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to find any of his original stuff on YouTube.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.