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.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Akiko Yano -- Itsuka Oji ga (いつか王子様が)

Over the past few months, I've been enjoying an anime that had originally been broadcast in early 2011 via its hilarious excerpts on YouTube called "Nichijou"(日常...My Ordinary Life). It basically involves the craziest hijinks and friends surrounding the sad-sack character of Yuko who always stumbles over herself, cannot order a simple coffee and struggles through school. And I don't think she has ever recovered from witnessing the epic battle between the school principal and a wayward deer.

Anyways, listening to Akiko Yano's(矢野顕子)"Itsuka Oji ga" (Someday My Prince Will Come), I felt that this was the ideal theme song for Yuko. First off, I just discovered the song a couple of days ago and it was pretty much love at first listen. It's a track from Yano's 5th studio album "Tadaima" (ただいま。...I'm Home) from May 1981, and I heard that this album is even more technopop and more highly regarded than her previous release of "Gohan ga Dekita yo"(ごはんができたよ) in 1980 and I'm a huge fan of that one.

"Itsuka Oji ga" (and no, it has nothing to do with the Disney ballad) was written and composed by Yano. What I have loved about it so far is the innocent and whimsical arrangement especially when the synths toodle about in the middle of each verse. The J-Wiki article for the album states that Yellow Magic Orchestra had a good hand in the recording and I can believe it. Plus, there is the inclusion of the Hibari Children Chorus(ひばり児童合唱団)which also participated in the recording of a few songs on "Gohan ga Dekita yo", and in my opinion, gave them a strangely cool dimension. It's no different with "Itsuka Oji ga".

The above is a live performance of the song and although the arrangement is there, my impression is that it slightly suffers from the fact that the Hibari Chorus is not in there with Yano. As for why I believe "Itsuka Oji ga" makes for a fine theme song for sad sack Yuko in "Nichijo" is that Yano's lyrics seem to describe the character's feelings about why she just can't get it together when it comes to her looks and her marks in school. But just like Charlie Brown in the United States, Yuko is also blessed/cursed with a plow-ahead optimism.

I don't have "Tadaima" yet. Perhaps that will change over the next few weeks in which case I will be more than happy to greet it with "Yokoso" once it arrives in the mail.

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