In my early years in Ichikawa, I recollect a Fuji-TV Thursday night romance drama that starred Narumi Yasuda （安田成美）and SMAP's resident goofy guy, Shingo Katori（香取慎吾）. Titled "Doc"（ドク）, the first scene had Yasuda playing a Japanese-language teacher traveling in Vietnam who wanted to cross a street, only to be wholly intimidated by the crazy traffic. Then, Katori as the titular Vietnamese character rather nonchalantly and suddenly came to her assistance and navigated a miraculous path across. Just as miraculously, the two crossed paths again in Tokyo when Doc decided to go up to Japan to learn the language at Yasuda's school. The drama debuted in December 1996 but it didn't take long for a lot of year-end and New Year's parties to have the resident cut-ups pretend to be Katori pretending to be a young man from Vietnam.
However, I think the more lasting legacy connected with "Doc" was its theme song. Miki Imai's （今井美樹）12th single, "Pride", was actually released some weeks before the premiere of the drama in November. And as written and composed by future hubby Tomoyasu Hotei（布袋寅泰）, it's a quietly joyful ballad about the pride of a woman as she is in love with that special somebody. According to the J-Wiki article on the song, the lyrics especially hit a soft spot with young women and karaoke fans which led the song to a No. 1 ranking on Oricon not just once but twice. It first got to the top spot a couple of weeks after its release, and then about a month later, it hit No. 1 again for 2 weeks straight just after "Doc" made its own debut. It ended up selling over 1.6 million copies and would become Imai's greatest hit up to now. To put the cherry on top of things, "Pride" became the 6th-ranked song for 1997.
The song has been covered by a number of other singers and the above video has Hotei himself giving his own piano version. And below is a cover by AKB48 member Misaki Iwasa（岩佐美咲）.