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.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Anzen Chitai -- Suki sa (好きさ)

I usually try to refrain from putting up a song by the same artist twice in the same month, but once I read a comment by simi from an earlier entry for an Anzen Chitai(安全地帯) ballad this month, I felt that I had to give "Suki sa" (I Love You) its due before the end of the year.

And for good reason. It's definitely imbued with that appealingly moody tone that characterized a lot of the band's songs in the early years. Having become an Anzen Chitai fan through the "The Best 10" videotapes and my years going to Kuri in Yorkville, the culmination of my admiration for Koji Tamaki (玉置浩二)and the guys occurred when I was feted to a birthday party at the aforementioned karaoke bar, and one of my friends, also a huge fan of the band, was kind enough to make a tape with all of their hits up to that point. He often drove me home so I often heard the songs as we took the Don Valley Parkway up to my home. And I'll tell ya....Anzen Chitai made for perfect night driving music. "Suki sa" was one entry on that birthday tape. I always remember that first line: "Suki sa....shibireru hodo....suki sa...kuyashii hodo..." (好きさ。。。しびれるほど。。。好きさ。。。くやしいほど。。。I love you so much I'm going numb....I love you so much I'm going out of my mind). Those words and Tamaki's anguished delivery makes it sound as if he were going to get the target of his affections through any means necessary....stalker territory here.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that it had been used as the third opening theme for the mid-80s anime, "Maison Ikkoku"(めぞん一刻)....especially after the cute-as-a-button first opening theme, "Kanashimi yo Konnichiwa"(悲しみよこんにちは) by aidoru Yuki Saito(斉藤由貴) and then the one-off opener with Gilbert O'Sullivan's old 70s ballad, "Alone Again, Naturally" (!). The fact that "Suki sa" was used as an opening theme was quite the shocker as well, since I thought the brooding melody by Tamaki and lyrics by Goro Matsui(松井五郎) would make it an ending theme. Since it's been embedded into my brain that "Suki sa" is an urban contemporary tune of darkness, it's a bit weird seeing it used with the sunny opening credits of "Maison Ikkoku". Still, my kudos to all those anime producers back then who were placing these pretty mature-sounding songs with their programs.


  1. Hello once again. ^ ^ Didn't expect post about this song so fast, but I'm really glad. Thank you! ♥

    I know this band only several months, but I loved them so much. "Suki sa" was first song, which I discovered on youtube. Koji Tamaki with beard looks really fascinating! And his voice gave me shivers.
    I watched live version fistly and saw anime version later. I was shocked just like you, when I saw it. ^ ^;;;

    You have really beautiful memories about this band. : )

    1. Thanks most kindly, Simi, and good to hear back from you. Yeah, Tamaki's voice has that quality which can stun an audience into awed silence. Plus his dark good looks didn't hurt either. :)

  2. Hi, first of all my sincere compliments for this wonderful blog.
    I'm an italian fan of japanese music and i owe this passion to Suki Sa, i'm a huge fan of Maison ikkoku and when i listened more carefully the soundtrack i was captured by Tamaki Koji's voice. The next step was the listening of Anzen Chitai's best of. Since this moment i became addicted to Anzen Chitai and Koji's music and a j-music fan. Thank you again for this wonderful blog is a precious resource of information!

    1. Hello, Godai and thanks very much for your kind comments. I can understand about your opinions on Koji Tamaki. He does have that hypnotizing voice, and of course, Anzen Chitai has been one of my favourite bands for decades.

      Keep on coming back!

    2. Ah, by the way, Godai, I had another fan from Italy make a comment on the blog last year as well. I'm gonna ask you the same question that I asked her: How did you get into J-Pop and is it a fairly popular genre over there?

  3. I get into J-Pop mostly thanks to Anime, when I'm curious about an opening or ending I search the related artist on web and listen some songs. As I wrote the first was Suki Sa and then the massive listening of Anzen Chitai, then was the turn of "the pillows" thanks to FLCL's soundtrack, Spitz thanks to Honey & Clover insert music during the episode and many others in the last years, the last discovery was Etsuko Yakushimaru. I've also read more article and forum on the web about japanese music and I try to listen the artist with the characteristic more near to my musical preferences. And I knew artist like Ayano Tsuji, Akeboshi, Mr Children and many other.
    In Italy J-Pop is popular thanks to anime, and the great part of J-Pop's listener is in the core of Anime's fanbase. Often the artist most knew are the commercial one, but i found in web some italian blog and forum with expert fans.

    1. Hi, Godai.

      Yup, that's what I've been hearing from some of the other commenters over the past few years in terms of how they got into J-Pop. I remember Ayano Tsuji from my days back in Japan, and of course, Mr. Children is still very popular.

      What are the popular examples of anime over in Italy right now? I've been into "Space Dandy" and "Witchcraft Works" along with "Kill La Kill".

  4. Now the most popular anime is Shingeki no Kyojin, it's finish week ago but the fandom still celebrate him. Kill la Kill is another popular series and in this moment fans talk about the last episode. Space Dandy is considered by a lot of fans a big delusion. I consider Space Dandy a good series, but I've expect more forn Watanabe. Another popular anime now is Nagi no Asukara.
    I dont's see Witchcraft Works but i listen last week the band who composed the opening, their name is Fhana and are a new band and i've like it.


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