At the time I was first watching the anime "Senki Zessho Symphogear"（戦姫絶唱シンフォギア...Superb Song of the Valkyries: Symphogear）, I was finally getting to hear the pipes of Nana Mizuki（水樹奈々）as this force of nature in anison as her character of Tsubasa Kazunari（風鳴 翼）slew the bad amoeba of NOISE like a knife through butter. Then in one episode, Nana/Tsubasa surprised a couple of her buddies in the karaoke box and me when she went into full vibrato mode with an old-fashioned enka tune of love and vengeance. That's when my friend told me that Mizuki had trained to become an enka chanteuse way back in her teens.
I'm not sure how many enka singles Nana Mizuki, under her real name of Nana Kondo（近藤奈々）, had released but this one did come out on ancient cassette tape called "Tsugazakura" which refers to a plant related to the cranberry and blueberry; the scientific name is Phyllodoce nipponica Makino (just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?).
"Tsugazakura" came out in 1993 when Mizuki was all of 13 years of age. That's right...thirteen. She was barely a teen when she first sounded like an enka veteran. Good golly...makes me wonder what would have happened if she had decided to stick to the traditional path. Hiroaki Takahashi（高橋弘明）wrote and composed the song that sounds as if it had been arranged on one keyboard.
And here is Mizuki singing another enka classic "Amagi Goe"（天城越え）which was originally performed by the amazing Sayuri Ishikawa（石川さゆり）. Mizuki would probably be one of the relatively few singers who could appear on both NHK's "Kayo Concert" and TV Asahi's "Music Station" unironically.
|Ah...a lot of fun off-tune times were had here!|