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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Emiri Henmi -- Kirei ni Narou yo (きれいになろうよ)

Reading Noelle's latest article on Teruhiko Saigo(西郷輝彦)earlier today had me deciding to talk a bit about his and actress Mari Henmi's(辺見マリ)daughter, tart-tongued actress/tarento Emiri Henmi(辺見えみり). Except for the last number of years of my time in Japan, the second generation of entertainer was a frequent presence on variety shows and commercials...and no surprise on that since she was a pretty fetching young lady when I first saw her, such as in the above ad.

As was often the case with many a young TV personality back then, Henmi contributed her vocal cords at the recording studio as well, She released 10 singles (the first 3 of which are now out of print) and 3 albums during the 90s, one of which was her 2nd single from June 1994, "Kirei ni Narou yo" (Let's Be Beautiful). Although I knew that she did release her fair share of records, I had only known her as the tarento. But listening to this song...well, I thought she acquitted herself quite well here.

Written by Henmi herself and composed by prolific composer/arranger Mitsuo Hagita(萩田光雄), "Kirei ni Narou yo" may be pretty light pop and Henmi's vocals didn't have Hiromi Iwasaki (岩崎宏美)losing any sleep, but I think it's still arranged slickly enough that some of the more mainstream female singers along the lines of Miki Imai(今井美樹)and Takako Okamura(岡村孝子)could have taken it on earlier in their careers.

It was used as the ending theme for the video game variety show, "Super Mario Club" on TV Tokyo at 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Considering that the show ended its run in September 1993, the song took its sweet time becoming a released single. I never caught the show myself since it would be over a year until I would get back to Japan to start my second life as a teacher, but I remember that there were similar programs at the dinner hour on TV Tokyo that I would catch from time to time as I munched away on my karaage bento.

Noelle mentioned about the sex appeal with pere Saigo. Well, like father, like daughter. Henmi sometimes showed up in pop culture in varying degrees of undress. The majority of that was through the commercials and some of her photo books, but I was able to find one scene from a notorious Beat Takeshi-hosted Sunday afternoon show called "Super Jockey". In this video, a bikini-clad Henmi had to dunk herself into a clear tub of very hot water and I believe the number of seconds she could stand being in there would be the amount of time she had to plug some sort of event she was involved in. Yup, your garden-variety crazy Japanese variety show, folks.

Now that I've been back in Canada for a few years now, my chances to see Henmi are even smaller but recently she has popped up as an occasional guest on NHK's weekday morning variety show "Asaichi"(朝市...Morning Market).


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    It was fun to meet Emiri Henmi and the the very happy-go-lucky "Kirei ni Narou yo". I quite liked the bouncy synths in the arrangement. And, honestly, I don't know why, but I was expecting her to be a bad singer. She may not be the greatest, but her vocals were very likeable.

    Also, seeing these crazy scenes from "Super Jockey" brought back some memories (well, from not so long ago... two or three years), as I really liked to watch this segment in which aidoru and tarentos had to dive in hot water to beg for a small promotion time on TV. It was crazy and sexual at the same time.

    These "Super Jockey" games also reminded me of some similar things you could watch on a TV show which was aired on sunday afternoons here in Brazil during the late 90s. The segment I'm talking about was called "banheira do gugu" (Gugu's bathtub). You can put on YouTube and find out what I'm talking about. And remember, it was aired in every single sunday afternoon!!!

    On a side note, I was watching another funny Japanese TV show today, "Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!", and Hamada's hopeless face is just great during the crazy batsu games.

    1. Hi, Marcos.

      It seems like every country outside of the US, Canada and Great Britain has those shows...perhaps we all got overly influenced by Queen Victoria. :)

      But I have a question about Gugu's bathtub. Are the ladies trying to get something from the bottom of the pool? Or are they just trying desperately to get out of there?

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    3. Hi, J-Canuck.

      Well, the ladies were trying to get a soap. It was a type of challenge, but the true objective of the show you really got watching the images.

      Honestly, I was very young when this thing aired, so I didn't watch it at the time. Not because of the content, but because Gugu's wasn't my favourite TV show, haha.


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