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, November 12, 2013

Picasso -- Cinema (シ・ネ・マ)

When I think about the old 80s anime, "Maison Ikkoku"メゾン一刻), I usually remember the atypically moody theme by Anzen Chitai(安全地帯), "Sukisa"(好きさ). For years, I'd had no idea that the song had any connection with an anime. I just naturally assumed that it was another adult contemporary urban song by the band.

Then, came another revelation recently. On another visit to my anime buddy's home, he played this other ending theme song, "Cinema", for the show by a band called Picasso. Once again, I was struck at how dramatically this song played out, considering my image of anison in that decade seemed to fall into two categories: loud and proud rock or cutesy pop. This song, though, felt like a heart-on-a-sleeve light tango.

Picasso debuted in late 1984 with "Honki! Tricky Lady"(本気!トリッキ・レディー...Really! Tricky Lady)with "Cinema" being their 3rd single coming out in August 1985. The band has three members: Tetsuya Tsujihata(辻畑鉄也), Junji Azuma(東純二) and Hideharu Mori(森英治), and had been praised for its "experimental sound" among the anime fans. "Cinema" itself was written by Junko Oyama(大山潤子) and composed by Picasso. Along with the tango rhythm, Tsujihata's voice also caught my attention since it seemed to resemble a mix between Koji Tamaki (Anzen Chitai) and the vocals of the band H2O, which had come up with a couple of well-regarded anime themes of their own just a few years before. I guess for a number of male non-aidoru pop singers, lilting and haunting was the way to go back in that decade.

The band stopped recording in 1995 but was signed up by another record label in 2000 to help shepherd some of the new generation.


  1. I was actually planning to write an entry on this very song. Looks like you beat me to it. :) It is indeed an interesting piece thanks to the tango. I think the reason why fans call Picasso experimental was that they stuck out from the crowd when it came to anime themes in that area, like you mentioned. I remember a few other songs from a compilation of theirs and they also had that exotic vibe to them.

    That "choreography" in the video above is another story, however. Seems like the guys were actually serious about it.

    1. Hi again.

      I heard that the band came up with at least a couple of other notable songs so feel free to write about those, and again if you have anything further to add to "Cinema", please feel free to follow up.


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