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, March 20, 2016

Miki Matsubara -- Neat na Gogo 3-ji (ニートな午後3時)

I'm trying to remember what I was doing at the 3pm hour back in my Japan days. Because of the nature of my work, it did vary from day to day. Sometimes I would be teaching a group or individual lesson at one of my schools or perhaps I would be at home watching TV between classes or I may be hanging out at a Starbucks or Doutor somewhere in Tokyo before yet another class.

Apparently for Miki Matsubara's(松原みき)heroine in "Neat na Gogo 3-ji" (Neat 3pm), tea time meant or used to mean waiting for that gentleman caller for an afternoon tryst. Whether that meant some intimate upstairs cafe or the lady's apartment, I'm not sure. In any case, this was Matsubara's 5th single from 1981, and for me it's the disco melody with the City Pop wailing guitar and horns and the singer's Cleo Laine-like vocals that won me over. Yoshiko Miura(三浦徳子)provided the lyrics about the passage of this relationship while Yuuichiro Oda(小田裕一郎)made the music.

(karaoke version)

The frantic nature of the song and the way Matsubara semi-comically traipsed through one passage had me thinking that this could have made for a funny theme song for a romantic comedy on Japanese TV. However, instead it was actually used in a commercial for a spring campaign for Shiseido Cosmetics. I couldn't find the ad but I could imagine the young lady there sprinting all over the city fresh as a daisy on some big job while her male colleague stumbles behind like a goof. I think it was just as well that it was for the spring campaign since I don't think there would be any way that either man or woman would have been able to do much sprinting in the torrid heat and humidity in a Tokyo summer.

Wasn't quite sure where the "neat" from the title came in. Perhaps since it was used for a cosmetics ad, it referred to having some of that cosmetic water to freshen up.

I can say that I savored 3 pm during those hot summers by guzzling down that complementary sweetened iced Nescafe in the air-conditioned Net cafe (see what I just did there) just across from my old subway station.

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