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, November 3, 2013

ALFEE -- STARSHIP - Hikari wo Motomete (光を求めて)

Thanks to my good buddy of over a quarter of a century's standing, I got introduced to a lot of what was called at the time Japanimation during my time at the University of Toronto. He had anime presentations of "Akira", "Patlabor" "Lodoss Wars" and the like for all of the engineering geeks and anyone else who was into the genre. I saw high school girls sitting next to truck drivers in the audience waiting to watch the movie version of "3X3 Eyes".

Another movie that was in the programme was the anime adaptation of E.E. Smith's "Lensman", known in Japan as "SF Shinseiki Lensman"(SF新世紀レンズマン....SF Lensman of the New Century). Unfortunately, although I was in the auditorium for that showing as well, I really only saw a part of it; you see, being midterms, I was pretty much spent due to all of the cramming, and as a result, I was dead on my feet and in my seat. So, the only scene I really remember was the one that resembled the Cantina Scene from the original "Star Wars" (I think it was actually some space disco thing).

And then there were the end credits (yep, I was truly exhausted). I heard this ethereal male chorus whisper out "Starship....ride on with me, oh my little girl...." while this playfully introspective piano tinkled away. Then, the music literally tumbled into this heroic pop/rock anthem with the guys from ALFEE at the fore. I didn't exactly vault out of my seat but my eyes were a lot more open.

Sometimes, when I remember the very first time I saw ALFEE on the 1983 Kohaku Utagassen playing "Marie-Anne", I think it was kinda too bad that the guys couldn't come back for the 1984 edition playing "STARSHIP - Hikari wo Motomete"(Seek The Light). It did quite well in the rankings, hitting No. 5 on the Oricon weeklies and then finishing the year as the 30th-ranked song of the year. It had that sweeping epic flavour that would've fit quite nicely into the young pop section of the Kohaku proceedings. In a way, "STARSHIP" reminds me of Queen's theme for "Flash Gordon" in terms of the overall style.

ALFEE's 18th single released in May 1984 was written and composed by co-vocal Toshihiko Takamizawa(高見沢俊彦)with Ken Takahashi(高橋研)helping out on the lyrics. It was the band's first stab at an anime theme song. I may not remember much of the movie, but at least, the theme song still establishes that link to it so that I may repent my viewing sins and finally get to watch it in its entirety.


  1. I am very impressed by your large amount of Japanese popular songs. But, unfortunately, your blog is formed by too many English words for me, so I will try to read your good writings in next time.

    1. Hello, bikenglish. And thanks very much for your comments.


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