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, December 26, 2014

Marumi Shiraishi -- Orion-za no Mukou (オリオン座のむこう)

There's a slight "separated-at-birth?" aspect to the target of this article when I think back of the one I wrote for Ai Saotome's(早乙女愛)"Maho no Kagami"(魔法の鏡)about two weeks ago. Like the one for Saotome, I discovered Marumi Shiraishi's(白石まるみ)"Orion-za no Mukou" (Beyond Orion) from purely browsing through YouTube. But that wasn't the only connection. There's the fact that Yuming(ユーミン)was also behind the lyrics, although she used her pseudonym Karuho Kureta(呉田軽穂)with her husband, Masataka Matsutoya(松任谷正隆)creating the music; in addition, Shiraishi wasn't doing a cover of an old Yuming song but a tune that was specifically made for her by the Matsutoyas.

There was also a similarity between Saotome and Shiraishi when it came to their entry into the geinokai. Although the latter singer was from Tokyo while the former was born in Kagoshima Prefecture, both had their big chances through mass auditions. In Shiraishi's case, she had tried out for a role among 40,000 hopefuls as the romantic interest of Hiromi Go(郷ひろみ)in the TV drama, "Muu Ichi Zoku"(ムー一族...The Muu Family)back in 1978. That opportunity didn't quite pan out, but coming in 2nd place, she was able to score a role as the kid sister of a bar owner in the same drama. And the then-16-year-old would find celebrity embracing her with open arms as she got more roles in other TV and movie productions and then a stint as a radio personality.

Then in January 1982, Shiraishi would release her first single in the form of "Orion-za no Mukou", thereby entering the music world in the same year as Akina Nakamori(中森明菜), Kyoko Koizumi(小泉今日子)and Chiemi Hori(堀ちえみ). She released just two more singles in the 80s before one last single in 1996. There was only one studio album, "Kaze no Screen"(風のスクリーン...Wind Screen).

As for my impression of her debut single, it has a rather pleasant coquettish beat mixed in with a bit of a 50s pop angle which reminds me of songs like Yuki Okazaki's(岡崎友紀)"Do You Remember Me?". The lyrics are the usual ones about the innocent young girl falling head-over-heels in love. I wouldn't mind getting this song as a part of a compilation of aidoru songs from that decade.

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