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, January 5, 2016

Masaharu Fukuyama -- HELLO

Yep, it was fine to see Masaharu Fukuyama(福山雅治)on the Kohaku Utagassen almost a week ago. However, I just had to put up the above video of an excerpt from a Japanese weekday wide show when the news came in earlier this year that the singer-songwriter-actor had finally tied the knot with actress Kazue Fukiishi. Apparently, it came in as Breaking News to the folks on the broadcast and I believe jaws figuratively dropped like anvils. It was amusing to witness the host even interrupting an interview with a US-Japan expert to announce this. But the running gag about Fukuyama was that he had been the most eligible (and desirable) celebrity bachelor for the longest time this side of George Clooney. So, when he got married, he got MARRIED (at the age of 46)!

Well, hello! No, really, "HELLO" in Fukuyama's 10th single from February 1995. It's one of the few Fukuyama songs that I know as a non-fan, and I first got to hear it when it was used as the theme song for a Fuji-TV Wednesday night drama titled "Saiko no Kataomoi"(最高の片思い...The Best Unrequited Love)starring a couple of 80s aidorus-turned-thespians Masahiro "Mokkun" Motoki(本木雅弘)and Eri Fukatsu(深津絵里). I heard all of the hoopla surrounding this show as being compared to "Tokyo Love Story", one of my favourites. But I think I heard wrong since really the only comparison was between titles; the English title for this particular drama was "White Love Story". I simply managed to watch a part of the first episode before I decided to drop it. From the opening credits, it just seemed to be about Mokkun skiing all over the place, and I guess skiing was still all the trendy rage back in the 1990s.

However, "HELLO" didn't quite say goodbye. It had a lot more lasting power than the drama and I kept on hearing it well into the summer. And I'm fairly sure that it was quite the rousing favourite at karaoke as well. In fact, it went all the way up to No. 1 on the charts and sold in excess of 1.8 million copies, becoming the 3rd-most successful single of the year.

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