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, January 14, 2015

Miyuki Watanabe -- Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite (やさしくするよりキスをして)

Like I said last year, 2014 was a very strong year to aidoru music. So, in a very simbolic way, Miyuki Watanabe (渡辺美優紀), a member of NMB48 who also happens to hold a dual position in SKE48 and AKB48, released her debut single as a solo singer around Christmas, and it was a direct homage to Seiko Matsuda’s (松田聖子) aidoru days (even the gorgeous cover was made in order to resemble Seiko's early singles).

“Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite” is part of that peculiar "saccharin" style of pop music that can be found very easily in Japan. Sometimes I have a problem with that, as when AKB48 releases a song of this type and still earns Oricon’s top spot with no effort (come on, they’re Japan’s top aidoru group. People learned to expect more from them), but  I'm aware it’s also a necessary move in the aidoru world. That said, I don’t find “Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite” particularly catchy or anything, but the nostalgic factor was probably what grabbed my attention at first.

After a couple of listens, “Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite” grew on me, and I blame Miyuki’s untrained, yet irresistibly cute, vocals for that. The girl really delivers that silly and quintessential aidoru performance that we all know and love. Sadly (or not), though, the arrangement is very pasteurized and processed with various layers of cheap synthesizers imitating horns and strings, which, besides being something very common in AKB48’s music, don’t represents what 80s aidoru music was all about. However, I still like “Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite” the way it is.

In the end, I really hope Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康) keeps promoting Miyuki Watanabe in the near future. If he was able to build a solo career for former AKB48 member Tomomi Itano (板野友美), who is a horrible singer, he can try the same with the cute “Milky” (みるきー). I only know that I need more of this girl. She’s bad, but I need more of her.

“Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite” reached #4 on the Oricon charts, selling 46,617 copies. Lyrics were written by Yasushi Akimoto, while music was composed by Takanori Fukuta (福田貴訓). As for the arrangement, Makoto Wakatabe (若田部誠) was the responsible.



  1. Hi, Marcos.

    That record cover got some appreciation on my Facebook page from at least one of my Seiko-loving former students! And aside from the modern synth arrangements, "Yasashiku Suru Yori Kiss wo Shite" sounds like it could've been sung by The Eternal Aidoru herself way back when.

    1. The cover is really beautiful. If I was in Japan, I'd probably by it just for the cover... well, I like the song too, but the cover really won me over.

      As for the song, Yasushi Akimoto is no stranger to 80s aidoru, and although he was not responsible for the music itself, he probably gave some insights. In the end, although I like it as a song per se, I still watch more the video than listen to it separately. I hope that changes with time.

    2. Yeah, the cover is really well done. I'm sure Watanabe was squeeing mightily at the opportunity of being made up as Seiko-chan back then.


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