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.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Miki Imai -- Sleep My Dear

This article will have a few parallels with the one I wrote for "Pride" last year. For one thing, this is another 90s Miki Imai(今井美樹)song and for another, "Sleep My Dear" is another Imai song written and composed by Tomoyasu Hotei(布袋寅泰)as a theme song for another Shingo Katori(香取慎吾)of SMAP TV drama, "Yomigaeru Kinro"(蘇える金狼...The Resurrection of the Golden Wolf). Mind you, comparing this show with Katori's earlier "Doc" would be like comparing coffee and blood. In "Doc", the usual lovable goofball played a taciturn Vietnamese man living in Japan while in "Yomigaeru Kinro", he was a tightly-wound assassin disguised as a mild-mannered corporate cog out to destroy the company he was working for.

Another parallel comes up with the fact that I was doing some channel-surfing when I came across both programs. With "Yomigaeru Kinro", I had just finished watching one of my favourite travelogue shows on TV Tokyo when I switched over to NTV to see the ending credits of the show with Katori as Asakura walking alone in Odaiba while the Imai song was playing. My impression was that it was a pretty cool way to finish off a show.

"Sleep My Dear" has that perfect title for a theme song to a suspense-thriller series. I mean, it sounds like a title for one of those hard-boiled novels by Mickey Spillane before it gets made into a Humphrey Bogart film noir. And Imai's creamy and reassuring vocals work to make me feel as if she were an angel singing to Asakura to let go of the vengeance and rest (the dreamy arrangement especially at the beginning by Hotei also helped). Not that it really worked...Imai had a small role in the show itself and she didn't quite make it to the end. In any case, the song also had Minako Yoshida(吉田美奈子)as one of the backup vocals.

This was Imai's 17th single from May 1999 which didn't quite have the Oricon success that "Pride" did, only getting as high as No. 25 on the charts. It was placed on her 2000 album, "Taiyo to Hemingway"(太陽とヘミングウェイ...The Sun and Hemingway)which peaked at No. 2. 

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