It's been fascinating for me about the trends in music that I've experienced in Japan over the decades. Of course, there was the aidoru wave and City Pop of the 1980s and then all that diversification of kayo kyoku to include visual-kei, Shibuya-kei and all those years with Tetsuya Komuro（小室哲哉）. But then making the shift from the 20th to the 21st centuries, I found that there were a number of female singers who were singing some soulful stuff...artists like bird, Momoe Shimano（嶋野百恵）and of course, Misia.
Misia had been around for 4 years when she released her 10th single in August 2002, "Nemurenu Yoru wa Kimi no Sei" (I Blame You For My Sleepless Nights). To be honest, it's not a bad thing to be accused of, either. It's another lovely ballad that I used to hear over and over back in Japan and it definitely got its 15 minutes of fame. Written by Misia and composed by Ken Matsubara（松原憲）, the music video was also memorable because of that tree. I don't know where it was filmed...was it Africa or Australia?...but it certainly made an impression. There's nothing like the combination of a soothing ballad with the visuals of a calm area of nature.
"Nemurenu Yoru wa Kimi no Sei" was also a theme song for a Fuji-TV Thursday-night drama titled "Renai Hensachi"（恋愛偏差値...The Standard Value of Romance）which debuted on the 4th of July 2002. By the time, I entered the 21st century, my dalliance with Japanese prime-time dramas had pretty much faded into the ether so I never caught this program. However, the description of the show on J-Wiki was pretty interesting. Instead of the usual 3 months of 12 weekly episodes, it consisted of three separate stories of 4 episodes each. I guess the producers at Fuji had wanted to shake things up a bit.
The theme song hit the No. 1 spot and went Platinum, finishing the year at No. 28. It's also a track on her 4th album, "Kiss In The Sky" which also got No. 1 status when it was released in September 2002. Its trackmate, "Hatenaku Tsuzuku Story"（果てなく続くストーリー）, a ballad of another stripe has already been covered here.
I think it was from around this time that I thought that Misia got a little too heavy with the ballads, but there's no denying that she has one of the best voices that I've ever heard.
|Akihabara at night|