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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Anzen Chitai -- Mayonaka Sugi no Koi (真夜中すぎの恋)

When it comes to the early hits by Anzen Chitai(安全地帯), there are the big three for me...two of which are "Wine-Red no Kokoro"(ワインレッドの心)and "Koi no Yokan"(恋の予感). Sandwiched between those two hits is "Mayonaka Sugi no Koi" (Love Past Midnight) which is arguably the best title considering the atmospheric sound created by the band in those days.

Another reason that I put those three together is that I saw the official music videos for all of them in order on a VHS tape that I'd borrowed from one of my friends from Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the video for "Mayonaka Sugi no Koi" anywhere on YouTube or elsewhere and that's a pity since it may have been one of the first music videos in Japan to have used computer graphics (if anyone knows of a music video that came out earlier than 1984, please let me know). As I remember it, the video itself wasn't particularly all that mind-blowing; basically, it featured a dolled-up young lady sullenly playing an old-fashioned US pinball machine while Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二)and the guys were shown via matte in front of the bumpers. However what caught my eye was the CG version of the pinball game itself that was intercut with the live keeps reminding me of that scene from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) when Kirk, Spock & McCoy were viewing the creation of a planet with the Genesis Device (itself "...cinema's first entirely computer-generated sequence...", according to Wikipedia). I'm not quite sure whether the video for "Mayonaka" has quite that stature in the realm of Japanese pop music but the pinball machine CG will always be the first thing I remember about it.

"Mayonaka Sugi no Koi" was released as Anzen Chitai's 5th single in April 1984. As was the case with the two other hits, Tamaki took care of the music while compadre Yosui Inoue(井上陽水)wrote the lyrics. Not as moody as "Wine-Red" or as wistfully romantic as "Koi no Yokan", I think the song is still a great representative for that urban and distinct Anzen Chitai sound (and those great Tamaki vocals), so I was a bit surprised that it hadn't been included in their BEST compilation. However, then again, there were so many hits by the band that I guess something had to excluded.

Unfortunately I couldn't find out how well the song did on the Oricon charts but it still holds a good place in my memories of the band. "Mayonaka" was also included on "Anzen Chitai II".


  1. Hi!
    This is a great song, can you recommend me something similar?
    (I already know Yosui Inoue)

    Thank you.

    1. Hello there.

      It depends on what kind of song you like. Anzen Chitai had a distinct sound...did you want something else by them, or were you also looking for a singer with a moody urban vibe? BTW, how did you get into Japanese music?

  2. I don't know what I'm exactly looking for, but I like this kind of obscure, atmospheric urban rock.
    Honestly I can't remember how I get into Japanese music, it happened a long time ago, eheh.

    1. Well, I wouldn't say this band was quite as moody as Anzen Chitai but sometimes Off Course had its moments especially going into the 80s.

      There is this one song by them called Yes-No: The top video though is just a cover version.

  3. I liked Off-Course, even if they are not obscure as Anzen-Chitai.
    I tried the album "We Are", beautiful album.

    Something else by Off-Course to recommend?

    p.s. Are you sure there isn't anything more in the vein of Anzen-Chitai? I like their sound so much.

    1. To be honest, Anzen Chitai just had such a distinct sound during the early 80s that I can't really come up with a band with a similar sound. And of course, Koji Tamaki is in a league of his own.

      As for Off-Course, I've enjoyed "Yes-Yes-Yes" and "Sayonara" for many years but they and Anzen Chitai are basically different bands. But feel free to take a look around the blog for those two to see if you can find something else you like.

      What are other bands and singers are you into?

    2. Before I forget, here are the two articles for the Off-Course songs:


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