Ahhhh....nothing like a Naoko Kawai （河合奈保子）song to bring back those happy feelings of yesteryear. And with Toronto today reaching the nirvana-like heights of 18 degrees Celsius after a protracted winter, I'm more than happy to have the latest Kawai entry for "Kayo Kyoku Plus" be "Natsu no Heroine" (Summer Heroine).
I heard this one on the 1982 Kohaku Utagassen, a year after Kawai first debuted on the NHK New Year's Eve special with the evergreen "Smile For Me". Like that introduction to the pink fluffy world of aidoru in 1981, the singer pranced about the stage and sang about the usual puppy love, this time on the beach. At the time, my comprehension of Japanese lyrics was very limited so the only lyric from that particular song I could decipher at the time was "Chance, chance...". Still, the samba-like beat and Kawai's cute-as-a-button enthusiasm won me over.
"Natsu no Heroine" was Kawai's 9th single, released in June 1982. Written by Machiko Ryu （竜真知子）and composed by Koji Makaino （馬飼野康二）, the song managed to reach No. 7 on the singles charts and ended the year as the 60th-ranked tune. It was also a track on "Summer Heroine", her 4th album from July of the same year which peaked at No. 6.