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, July 4, 2014

PUFFY -- SWEET DROPS/Kasarinchu -- High, High, High

Back a couple of years ago, my anime buddy introduced me to this rather sweet slice-of-life anime that had run from July 2011 for 11 weeks called "Usagi Drop"(うさぎドロップ...Bunny Drop). It had no reality-warping cute witches or city-breaking giant mecha merely told of a story of a somewhat taciturn young bachelor businessman Daikichi who through some very unusual circumstances suddenly became the caretaker of a precocious girl by the name of Rin. Each week, the series depicted some minor crisis that "sudden" father Daikichi had to tackle vis-a-vis Rin as he gradually grew into his new life role. The show also included a small arc involving the search for the girl's biological mother. Along with the soft pastel-like animation, I enjoyed "Usagi Drop" since it had that element that every movie that I've enjoyed from "Star Wars" to "Ghostbusters" had...a good heart.

The other reason behind my profile today has to do with the music, so I've decided to kill two birds with one stone and cover both the opening and ending themes. First off, there is the opening by PUFFY titled "SWEET DROPS". When I saw the cute opening credits to "Usagi Drop" and heard Ami and Yumi for the first time in a very long while, I just went "Wow! They're still together". And I think the child-like and sing-song nature of "SWEET DROPS" was just perfect for PUFFY and for the series. The song was the pair's 31st single from August 2011 which just happened to be their second single in their 15th anniversary year.

Singer-songwriter Shoko Suzuki(鈴木祥子)was the one behind the creation of the song, and I think getting PUFFY to come on board was fairly easy since the manga artist responsible for the original comic of "Usagi Drop", Yumi Unita(宇仁田ゆみ), was a huge fan of the duo. "SWEET DROPS" got as high as No. 34 on Oricon.

However, if I had to make a choice, I would have to say that my favourite of the two themes would be the ending song by the other duo, Kasarinchu(カサリンチュ). I think "High High High" was the song that finally made me realize that a wailing & twangy guitar is just the thing for a happy-go-lucky tune. Reminiscent of some of the works by Spitz, "High High High" is like taking a fun walk in the park or that Sunday drive with your own kids.

I have to let you know though that either Kasarinchu or their agents were pretty stern about not getting their song heard for free on YouTube at least, so unfortunately, the video above and any video that has the original version of "High High High" have been muted. However, I thought the closing credits were also lovingly done so I included them and you can try listening to the full version below while playing the closing credits on YouTube. Of course, if you already have the DVD or have a Crunchyroll account, why worry?

Kasarinchu is Tatsuhiro (タツヒロ)and Kousuke (コウスケ)from Kagoshima Prefecture. Being classmates in both junior and senior high school, they were in a band together, and then after graduating, they headed up to Tokyo for some more education although the J-Wiki article hints that the two had spent their lives separately up there. They returned to Kagoshima, and on attending a mutual friend's wedding, Tatsuhiro and Kousuke sang together which sparked the idea of them starting up a double act. So in 2005, Kasarinchu was born. As for the name, it was derived from the name of their hometown, Kasari Town (笠利町)on Amami-Oshima Island and it actually means "people of Kasari". The town was recently merged with two other municipalities on the island to become the city of Amami.

"High High High" was the coupling song to Kasarinchu's 2nd single, "Yamerarenai Tomarenai" (やめられない、とまれない...Can't Quit, Can't Stop)which came out in July 2011. The single was written and composed by Tatsuhiro, and managed to get as high as No. 82 on Oricon.

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