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.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Minako Honda -- Temptation (誘惑)

Well, it’s no secret that Minako Honda (本田美奈子) wasn’t just a cute/pretty face. Honestly, she had an incredible voice and was a great singer/performer. She really brought some big guns to the aidoru world with the dramatic synthpop aidoru tune “Satsui no Vacance” (殺意のバカンス), her debut, which was released in April 1985. But it wasn’t until “Temptation”, released in September 1985, that Minako caused some true commotion. And I can see why, as “Temptation” is surely an interesting song in an aidoru’s catalogue. It’s the type of song Akina Nakamori (中森明菜) could have recorded and turned into one of her memorable hits, just like “SOLITUDE” or “Fin”, two of her laid-back masterpieces of the 80s.

But Minako herself did a great job with “Temptation”. The melody is mysterious and even sensual, in a strange way. The arrangement, built around a strong bass line and synths, just contributes to this foggy and funky feeling. Overall, it’s a very nice song and one of Minako’s best offerings during her aidoru days.

If Minako wasn’t so instable during her aidoru career, she could have maintained this style and grown as a singer with it. Her rock phase was really a turn-off if compared with the earlier synth pop tunes like "Satsui no Vacance", "Temptation" and "1986nen no Marilyn" (1986年のマリリン), or even the nice pop-rock ones like “CRAZY NIGHTS”, produced by Queen's guitarist Brian May. To be honest with Minako, though, she did grow as a singer, especially when she started doing her classical work during the 90s, but you know what I mean, she just needed a better artistic/musical direction sometimes.

“Temptation” reached #10 on the Oricon chart (source:, selling 184,000 copies (source: A “[New Mix Version]” was later included in Minako’s first full album, “M’ Syndrome” (M'シンドローム), which reached #2 on the Oricon chart and sold 239,000 copies (source: The album, which was released in November 1985, also became the #16 best-selling of 1986. Back to “Temptation”, it was written by Takashi Matsumoto (松本隆), composed by Kyouhei Tsutsumi (筒美京平), and arranged by Kazuo Otani (大谷和夫).


  1. Hi, Marcos.

    I have to say that although I was never that much of a Minako fan, "Temptation" is quite good. Although a lot of her 80s fans will disagree with me, I think doing the Madonna bit didn't impress me too much although from the marketing point of view, she did stand out because of it. Now, I'm rather thinking of what other hidden musical gems she has out there.

    1. Hey J-Canuck.

      I like her 80s work quite a bit, especially before she joined a rock band (Minako With Wildcats). And that remembers me that I have to buy her "GOLDEN BEST".

      Well, I'm preparing another Minako article with her debut single. I hope you like that song too, J-Canuck.

  2. Tsubasa

    By Megumi Hayashibara

    By Hiromi Iwasaki

    1. Coincidentally, Megumi Hayashibara is my all time favorite singer. But to be honest, though, her version of "Tsubasa" is far away from the great original version. The arrangement is very nice, but when this was released I was waiting for the long note like in the original version. Unfortunately, Megumi is not the best vocalist, and she couldn't handle that note. She wasn't even aiming that, though.

      About Hiromi's version, it was my first time listening to it. Like Minako, she is a great vocalist. And she did the song justice.


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