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, January 5, 2014

Yuko Hanashima -- Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Basho (悲しみに一番近い場所)

NOTE: That’s a stock article I wrote in the beginning of December 2013, which makes it a month old. For some reason, I didn’t post it earlier, but I decided to give this song some light now as I’ve been listening to it quite regularty since I wrote this article.

Yesterday, thanks to a Facebook friend, I discovered that a particular J-Pop song kind of marked the childhood of many Brazilians. It was “Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Basho” by Yuko Hanashima (花島優子), the ending song of the “Bishoujo Kamen Powatrin” (美少女仮面ポワトリン) tokusatsu series (known as “Patrine” in Brazil) that was produced in 1990 and exhibited in Brazil by the extinct Brazilian TV channel, "Rede Manchete" (famous for exhibiting some classics anime and tokusatsu series like “Jaspion”, “Jiraya”, “Sailor Moon” and “Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac”, to name a few) in 1994. Unlike my friend and other Brazilians that grew up in the late 80s/early 90s, I don’t quite remember “Bishoujo Kamen Powatrin” (I was three or four years old when it was exhibited in 1994). But I had the pleasure to listen to the classic “Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Basho” in 2013, and like the popular wisdom say, better late than never.

Little stories apart, taking in consideration that “Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Basho” was a song released in February 1990, nothing about its dance-pop/eurobeat sound seems like a surprise. Famous acts like Chisato Moritaka (森高千里), Wink, Eriko Tamura (田村英里子) and Minako Tanaka (田中美奈子), to name a few, were following this trend imported from England’s SAW hit factory (Stock Aitken Waterman).

In the end, “Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Basho” is just a plain dance-pop SAW inspired song that, at most, has a little “cult status” charm for casual listeners. And aidoru’s Yuko Hanashima vocals were far from being memorable. But something about the chorus makes me feel very nostalgic. It really has that great late 80s/early 90s aura that I enjoy. All in all, kudos to the song for being so overall positive.

To finish, here's a nice live medley of aidoru's debuts in early 1990. We can see Rumi Shishido (宍戸留美), Yuko Hanashima, Akiho Sendo (千堂あきほ) and Eriko Tamura (this one debuted in 1989 but somehow got a spot in this medley) among others that I can't really recognize. Sticking to the song introduced today, it starts right after the 2:10 mark. Yuko Hanashima sings a small part of "Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Baisho" with a live arrangement. Overall, this video is very interesting. Check it below.

“Kanashimi ni Ichiban Chikai Basho” was far from being a hit, reaching only #43 on the Oricon charts. Lyrics were written by Ayuko Ishikawa (石川あゆ子), while music was composed by Toshiaki Matsumoto (松本俊明). As for the arrangement, Yasutaka Mizushima (水島康貴) was responsible.


  1. Yeah, as you said, the arrangement, considering the time it was released, is no surprise....and it does have that nostalgia for me as well. I never saw the series on which it is based nor did I hear the song before, but just from how fast it is racing, I could figure out it was for some sort of anime or tokusatsu show. My anime buddy often plays a lot of themes on his stereo, and the 90s stuff all had that familiar synth sound.

    1. Hi, J-Canuck. Thanks for the comment here.

      I think the nostalgic factor is really there, or we are both biased, haha.

      I'm thinking about watching this tokusatsu series, but I'll probably wait until a future "asian movies and video-game night" with some friends to start watching it because I really think this show has a lot of elements to laugh about.

      I'm also a big fan of 90s anime music. It's incredible how many of them were unashamedly made with the old synth-y sound of the 80s. I'll surely talk about some them in a near future.


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