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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kinki Kids & Takuro Yoshida -- Zenbu Dakishimete (全部だきしめて)

I guess when I look back at it, one of my television viewing hubs when I was in Japan was Saturday nights. During my Gunma years, I used to watch The Tunnels' "Neruton Club" and then the sketch show "Yume de Aetara" on Fuji-TV at 11:30 p.m. (Lindberg's "Believe In Love" was one of the theme songs). Then, several years later, when I got into my Ichikawa years, there was another variety show in that time slot called "Love Love Aishiteiru"(Love Love 愛している....Love Love I Love You).

The half-hour show (1996-2001) was a literal potpourri of tarento and singers, with Johnny's Entertainment duo, Kinki Kids, and veteran singer Takuro Yoshida(吉田拓郎) headlining the festivities. Each week, a musically-inclined actor or a bona fide singer would appear for a bit of humourous chit-chat and then some music, with an assist by the Kids and Yoshida. The backup band consisted of one-third of Alfee, half of the Bubblegum Brothers, R&B guy Keizo Nakanishi(中西圭三) and zany teen tarento Tomoe Shinohara(篠原ともえ) among others. There was someone for everybody.

I was a pretty faithful viewer of "Love Love Aishiteiru" for some of the back-&-forth quipping amongst the hosts and guests. But I think one of the running gags for the whole show was seeing whether the Kinki Kids could get the stone-faced and bespectacled Yoshida (whose nickname was The Sphinx, mostly due to his hairstyle back in his folkie 70s) to crack a laugh...didn't happen often but it was delightful to watch when it did.

In any case, one of my highlights was whenever the show started and the whole gang goes into the rendition of the theme song, "Zenbu Dakishimete"(Embrace All), a good time tune which was composed by Yoshida and written by Chinfa Kan(康珍化). It was also great at the time to pick it as a karaoke selection at the boxes since just like when the Love Love All-Stars (the collective name for the cast) perform it, one has to quickly zip through the lyrics, and usually even the Kinki Kids and Yoshida aren't entirely successful which encourages the rest of us common folk.

Though Kinki Kids and Yoshida did their song together on the show, they also had their own versions of "Zenbu Dakishimete" with Yoshida's take included on his 1997 album, "Minna Daisuki"(みんな大好き....I Love Everybody), and the Kids released a single the following year. The above video is for Yoshida's self-cover.

As for the Kinki Kids, the duo is Koichi Domoto(堂本光一) and Tsuyoshi Domoto(堂本剛)...same family names but no relation whatsover. They first met up at a Hikaru Genji concert in 1991, and as they went up the Johnny's Entertainment ladder, they were given a variety of names until they settled on Kinki Kids since both of them were from the Kinki region of Japan, which is also known as the Kansai region including Osaka, Wakayama and Mie Prefectures. Their first single actually came out some months after the debut of "Love Love Aishiteiru" in 1997, the hit "Glass no Shonen"(ガラスの少年) created by Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎).

I have to finish this by including one of the segments from the show. The overcaffeinated and oversucrosed Tomoe Shinohara started things off at 11:30 with her "Puri-puri-pretty" gig in which she invaded the dressing rooms of the guests and basically got abused. On another variety show, Shinohara even had a chance to meet Robin Williams for a short interview. Much hilarity ensued, but suffice it to say, Williams won the insanity match handily.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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