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, April 3, 2016

Minako Honda -- Oneway Generation

Yesterday, I got to see "Batman v. Superman" with some friends downtown. Yep, I did hear about all of the negative reviews so my expectations were about as high as a caterpillar's belly which actually did help me to enjoy things a bit more. It wasn't quite a disaster but I thought it was severely lacking in humour. Perhaps if there were a good dollop of it from the above parody with comedian/talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, we would have been happier, although there were other issues to fix.

I had the same feelings when I first saw and heard the late Minako Honda(本田美奈子)back in the 1980s. I may have remarked to Marcos V. for one of his Minako articles on the blog that I hadn't been too impressed when I saw her performing on either "The Best 10" or "The Top 10" and her voice was all over the place. In retrospect, though, I may have been a bit harsh since she and her dancers were flying about at the time, but still, even as an aidoru, she didn't exactly show some of that prowess that would later come out when she became a stage musical actress.

Still somewhat wary of "1986-nen no Marilyn"(1986年のマリリン)which was one of her earlier releases but looking at her 9th single, "Oneway Generation" from February 1987, I was pleasantly surprised that she sounded a bit more stable on TV...I will have to listen to the original recorded version someday. And of course, the refrain has been the one meme of Minako that has stayed in my head all these years.

Written by Yasushi Akimoto(秋元康)and composed by Kyohei Tsutsumi(筒美京平), "Oneway Generation" has an inspiring message about those young folks who might be feeling stuck in terms of what to do for their future: just plod ahead with those dreams and not listen to any negativity. Mind you, passing those university entrance exams is one big wall, though. The single managed to get as high as No. 2 on Oricon and became the 23rd-ranked single of the year.

"Oneway Generation" was also the theme song for the TBS serial "Papa wa Newscaster" (パパはニュースキャスター...Papa is a Newscaster) starring Masakazu Tamura(田村正和)who would take on a far more iconic role in the next decade.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    When I listened to Minako's singles years ago, "Oneway Generation" was not among my favorites from the girl. However, like you said, that refrain is kinda catchy, and it made me like the song a little better. Overall, I can handle the song nowadays (nothing outstanding, but it's a solid song), but Minako's outfits during "Oneway Generation's" promotion period weren't beautiful enough for me.

    I've never seen the video with the comedians doing funny stuffs in front of her before. I just laughed with her everytime something happened. Quite entertaining!

    1. Hi, Marcos.

      Yes, I think whoever was grooming Honda at the time was trying to bring in a bit of Madonna into her image; didn't quite work out.

      It's always a lot more fun when folks try to break up the usual stage performances. I remember when The Tunnels tried to scare folks like Nori-P and Nanno while they were singing. Nori-P could squeak like anything!

  2. If you want an entry version of 1986 nen no Marilyn, Nana Mizuki has done a cover in full power mode.

    BTW, do you have a youtube account or something where I can share links?

    1. Hi again.

      I'm afraid I don't have a YouTube account but any messages to the blog come over to my Gmail account.

  3. A late 80s compilation. Oneway Generation is 2:58 in, but note the guy in a white jacket dancing away in the background. Is that Goro Noguchi? If so, what was he doing on Yoru no Hit Studio? I can't find him doing anything at the time (Feb-Mar 1987) other than preparing for Les Miserables.

    1. Yes, that is indeed Noguchi. And I'm also unsure as to why he appeared on the show at that time. I can only assume that "Yoru no Hit Studio" had invited him for a retrospective on his career thus far.

  4. In case I forgot to post the link.


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