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, February 18, 2015

Senri Oe -- Kakko Warui Furarekata (格好悪いふられ方)

Yup, that question above exactly. I'm not sure if this had been some sort of trend at the end of the 80s going into the 90s but there seemed to have been some popping up of singers/songwriters who I probably would have pegged as being adorkable. These were the type of guys who wouldn't star as the main heartthrob in a trendy drama but would be the 2nd or 3rd-stringer good buddy of the main heartthrob. They were the decent Richie Cunningham guys of the show.

But we are talking about musicians, aren't we? Well, around that time, there were folks like the slim bowtie-sporting Kan and the lovable lug Noriyuki Makihara(槇原敬之)who were hitting the charts. And there was also bespectacled Senri Oe(大江千里). He looked like the sort of guy who would get chosen last in a pick-up basketball game or would win the school chess championship 5 years in a row. Oe may not win too much in the romance department but he'd be the best buddy for any girl or guy.

So I guess it was a bit of kismet working overtime here that his most successful hit was "Kakko Warui Furarekata" (Lame Dump) from July 1991, his 23rd single since his debut in 1983. Oe wrote and composed this nimble song about getting dumped by the girl and then going some major trauma about it. I think the other thing that connects Oe with his contemporaries Kan and Mackey is that all three like to bang out a good piano melody, but the guy with the glasses is the one who composed the song in the way that the poor dumped schlep was probably feeling after the horrible deed was done: breathless and jittery.

The first time I heard of "Kakko Warui Furarekata" was when I caught a bit of the TBS drama, "Kekkon Shitai Otoko Tachi"(結婚したい男たち...Guys Who Wanna Get Married)and saw the opening credits. The story was pretty much what the title said but of course, there was also the moral debate about what was more important: getting to the altar as expeditiously as possible or taking the time to find that true love for both the male and female characters. The one scene I remember from the show is where actress Tomoko Yamaguchi's(山口智子)character of Shinobu sat in seiza style too long and ended up stumbling around like some drunken sailor since her legs had fallen asleep. Yup, I know that feeling all too well. I read that even Oe had a small role in the show as the brother of one of the characters.

(empty karaoke version)

As I said, this was Oe's biggest hit. It managed to peak at No. 2, selling 500,000 copies. Hearing the song again, I'm not sure but perhaps that could've been Misato Watanabe(渡辺美里)on the backup vocals. In the same year, Oe composed her "Natsu ga Kita"(夏が来た), and I've always thought that the two had a similar musical sense.

My coda for this article is that in 2008, after heading over to the United States, Oe got married to that special someone.

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