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.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Aya Hirano, Minori Chihara & Yuko Goto -- Hare Hare Yukai (ハレ晴レユカイ)

Just a few months from returning to Canada for good, my anime buddy and I got into our well-worn routine of meeting every couple of Sundays for food and anime viewing at his place. At the same time, he also passed me some other anime for viewing at of which was "Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu"(涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱...The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya). He was quite gangbusters about this show so I decided to give it a try.

The first thing I saw was this buxom girl by the name of Mikuru Asahina(朝比奈ミクル)with the voice of a drunken, tone-deaf angel trying to sing "Koi no Mikuru Densetsu"(恋のミクル伝説...The Legend of Mikuru in Love)against a musical backdrop of an 80s B-movie. I managed to get through it....slack-jawed, mind you...before I turned the TV off. My initial impression was "Man, what WAS he thinking? I didn't know he was that much into moe."

However, as all of the Haruhi fans know, I was being a bit hasty in my judgement. I gritted my teeth, gave it another shot and realized the first minute was just part of a student video (basically the pilot episode) created by the main character. And then after all that, I realized that "Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu" was all about this weird girl with a personality mix of Lucy Van Pelt and Peppermint Patty who dearly craves to encounter the strange and unusual while unknowingly being surrounded by the very people she seeks due to some far greater reason of universe-shattering proportions.

At around the same time, I was also watching "Mawaru Penguindrum", another mind-screw of an anime, so it was a fairly intense few months for me. I would have ended up a total zombie if my buddy had also thrown in "Madoka Magica".

Well, getting to the point of this article, I was happier with the ending theme of the show, "Hare Hare Yukai" (Shiny Shiny Happiness). And yep, it is fully imbued with shiny shiny happiness. Written by Aki Hata(畑亜貴)and composed by Tomokazu Tashiro(田代智一), it was one darn catchy tune right from the get-go. Sung by seiyuu Aya Hirano(平野綾), Minori Chihara(茅原実里)and Yuko Goto(後藤邑子)who portrayed the three main female characters of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuki Nagato(長門有希)and the aforementioned Mikuru respectively, I can't help but associate the actual singing of the song more to the characters than to their voice actors.

Part of the reason for that is the closing credits of the show which had Haruhi, Yuki and Mikuru along with the two male characters of Kyon(キョン)and Itsuki Koizumi (古泉 一樹)also performing some pretty elaborate choreography. It impressed so many people that it became an Internet sensation with some of those flesh-&-blood folks emulating what has become known as the Haruhi Dance. According to the J-Wiki article on "Hare Hare Yukai", Shoko Ikeda(池田晶子)was the Kyoto Animation director behind the dance, and she went through a lot of music videos of various aidoru to envision the moves for the characters, settling mostly on the choreography of the group Berryz Kobo(Berryz工房).

The above video is the full version of the song which was released as an official single in May 2006. I think it did phenomenally well as an anison, getting as high as No. 5 on Oricon and going Gold in terms of sales. By the end of the year, it was ranked at No. 104.

Getting through the 13 episodes, I was glad that I did stick with it and not totally flee after that initial bit of Mikuru karaoke. And as someone who has never been all that comfortable socializing, I could actually relate to the concept of The SOS Brigade.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    Is there a problem that I liked "Koi no Mikuru Densetsu" instead of "Hare Hare Yukai"? If Yuko Goto didn't sing it like a "drunken, tone-deaf angel", I'd probably be very hooked on the song, and what called my attention was basically what you called a "musical backdrop of an 80s B-movie" (I have a thing for this type of degenerate sound).

    Aside from that, I have a friend that is a big moe fan and he keeps talking about Haruhi almost every time we meet. Hearing him speak, I always thought it was a very lame anime with young girls, without a proper plot (one of the several light ecchi comedies that spreads without stop in the anime world. Nothing against them, though, as I also had my time with a portion of titles in the past). Based on what you wrote, I'm totally wrong.

    1. Hi, Marcos.

      No problem whatsoever that you enjoyed "Koi no Mikuru Densetsu". Agree to disagree and all that. :) To be honest, although I can't say that I've warmed up to it, I realize that the song had always meant to be more tongue-in-cheek. I guess I enjoy that hammering 80s synth when it's utilized a bit more economically...just like in Yoko Oginome's "Eat You Up".

      Yeah, my buddy is also a huge Haruhi fan. He once told me that for him to like a certain anime, the biggest factor for him is whether there is "heart" in the program. I guess that would be the same for me, too. There's quite a lot of stuff in "Haruhi" that I couldn't quite understand but I stuck with it simply because I just liked how the characters made for a nice team. A lot of my friends have razzed me about how much I've still liked "Ghostbusters" (they have definitely stated how much they've disliked it) after all these years, but again it's the heart factor.

      I don't think you're wrong at all. When it comes to the wide variety of anime out there, everyone has their preferences. Believe me, I can't get anywhere near the ecchi stuff...I'd end up squinting my eyes a little too much at the visuals but I've known one guy who just adores that genre.


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