I saw this video for the rollicking "Jet Ninjin" (Jet Carrot) starring rock band GO!GO!7188 years ago on one of the local music channels, and thought it a hoot. My first impression of the group had been that they were a trio of no-nonsense take-no-guff rockers from Kagoshima Prefecture but when I saw this video, I realized that they actually had a sense of humour about themselves.
"Jet Ninjin" was GO!GO!7188's 2nd single from August 2000 which would truly have been made into the coolest tokusatsu TV series theme song with the all-business guitar rumbles. Guitarist Yuu, bassist Akko and drummer Turkey were all in for the video which takes an affectionate poke at that genre plus the one for all those old Japanese police shows as the guys pretend to be an elite squad for good armed with the world's most lethal vegetable.
And yet, as I was to find out, the humour went even deeper. The title actually came from a mispronunciation from Akko's old boss at her part-time job when he/she was trying to actually refer to the eclectic Nara band Jitterin' Jinn. Not sure whether Akko just stared at her employer for the longest time or she crumpled into a bag of giggles. However, riffing from that genius expression, the song was born.
Yuu and Akko created the song, and although most of the song spoke about the superhero Jet Ninjin flying through the air, there was one line at the end which revealed the joke: "Jet Ninjin is actually the once-popular band named Jitterin' Jinn". According to J-Wiki, the band had actually gone to Jitterin' Jinn themselves to get their blessing to use the lyric but were politely declined. However, for whatever reason, the line remained intact when the song was about to be released, something which prompted Jitterin' Jinn lead vocalist Reiko Harukawa（春川玲子）to write an entry in her blog on August 26 2000, just a few days before the release date. I tried to see the entry myself via a link on the J-Wiki article for GO!GO!7188 but just got gibberish; you can check to see if you are more successful. In any case, I don't quite know what Harukawa's exact reaction was but it is interesting to note that GO!GO!7188 didn't play "Jet Ninjin" during their concerts for a short time. Sometime later though, an accord of sorts was reached through staffers who had connections with both bands which resulted in the band agreeing to change that line for any future performances of the song.
"Jet Ninjin" managed to sprout as high as No. 48 on Oricon. You can take a look at another song by the band, "Kokoro no Tabi"（心の旅）.
|Some carrots...and lettuce|