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, February 4, 2014

Yumi Tanimura -- Ganbare Broken Heart (がんばれブロークン・ハート)

Yumi Tanimura (谷村有美) was such an unknown name for me some weeks ago. She was a singer-songwriter with aidoru looks that debuted in the late 80s and released some interesting songs. One of them is the fun and happy-go-lucky “Ganbare Broken Heart”, which was released as a single in April 1989.

With a very light vibe, “Ganbare Broken Heart” showcases a typical late 80s arrangement with synths in place of horns and a prominent electronic bass line accompanying it. Also, a typical but always nice sax solo can be heard during and after the bridge. Although not groundbreaking, it’s a nice and pleasant piece of pop music that has a summery and playful vibe going along. I especially like it when I’m traveling to Rio de Janeiro in a sunny afternoon (which is almost always).

As for Yumi Tanimura, her vocals are not bad at all, and she is also a very competent live singer. Based on that and in the fact that she wrote some lyrics, I probably can’t categorize her as an aidoru. All in all, "Ganbare Broken Heart" is a nice song from the late 80s, and the video is very cute with Yumi Tanimura being goofy and pretty while miming the song.

Lyrics for “Ganbare Broken Heart” were written by Nobuyoshi Tozawa (戸沢暢美) while music and arrangement were done by Nishiwaki Tatsuya (西脇辰弥).


  1. Ok, crossed this song off my pending articles list. Thank you for covering it. I'm a sucker for Yumi Tanimura's upbeat songs from the late 80's, and this one is my favorite. Cheery and playful are great words to describe it, and I adore those "horns-wannabee" synths. The video is also very entertaining. I bet that's how every busy young girl feels like every morning. I know I do.

    She may not have been an idol officially, but she just had a certain energy and playful girlishness in those fays that made her appear like one. There were a few other singers like Mariko Nagai and Tomoko Tane that had a certain semi-idol image as well. I think it was an interesting concept.

    1. Hi, nikala.

      It's great to know you like Yumi Tanimura. I also know J-Canuck likes some of her songs because he covered them a while ago.

      As for me, I'm enjoying Yumi Tanimura a lot lately, but I'd like her to sing more upbeat songs. It seems she was more interested in ballads.

      "Ganbare Broken Heart" is surely an early highlight in her career. I especially like the album where it comes from, "Hear". It has such nice songs like the mellow "BOY FRIEND" and the edgy/eurobeat-esque "HELP". I still have to listen to her post-1991 albums. I'm kind hesitant because I feel I'll find more ballads than on her early albums.

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  2. Hi, Marcos.

    There's something in the melody that reminds me of The Pointer Sisters' "He's So Shy". But Japanese songwriters picking up hooks from Western pop songs was no surprise especially during the 80s. :)

    I should explore her BEST album again since I think I may find some nice songs that I overlooked the first few times I've heard it. Yumi Tanimura never struck me as an aidoru song....she always sounded like a poppier version of Mariko Nagai.

  3. Hi J-Canuck.

    Wow. I just love "He's So Shy", and coincidentally I was listening to one Pointer Sisters compilation just on the other day. I listened to both together and I agree that Yumi's song can resemble the other in some parts. I'm very ashamed because I couldn't make this comparison by myself.

    I'm also listening to some Mariko Nagai's albums after nikala talked about her. I've found some very interesting songs, but, overall, she's not my style. Neither is Yumi Tanimura, but she was cute and had some nice weapons under her sleeves, just like "Ganbare Broken Heart".


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