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, May 19, 2016

Kikuko Inoue, Yumi Touma and Aya Hisakawa -- Kataomoi Shika Shiranai Kuse ni (片思いしか知らないくせに)

Between stints in Japan (1991-1994), when I was back to being involved with my old university club at U of T, the JCSA, there were a number of programs being run including English Through Video for those working-holiday students who wanted to learn some words and expressions via Hollywood movies (psst, I don't think "9 1/2 Weeks" was such a great choice) and Japanese Through Video for those who wanted to do the same from the Japanese language via the various J-dramas.

Then, once in a while, my anime buddy, the same fellow that I get together with biweekly for our food-and-anime sessions, held anime presentations on campus (I think the genre was still known as Japanimation back then). One of the favourites among the audience during the sessions was the show "Ah! Megami-sama"(ああっ女神さまっ...Ah! My Goddess). To be honest, I don't remember much about the overall story anymore since my 17 years in Japan were anime-free aside from "Sazae-san" (サザエさん) and "Chibi Maruko-chan"(ちびまる子ちゃん), but I do remember the basic premise of three sister goddesses taking up residence in a teenage boy's residence. It all struck me as being somewhat "I Dream of Jeannie". However, instead of the simple name of Jeannie, I had to take in the relatively complex names of Belldandy, Urd and Skuld.

Although with my return to the anime fold in the last few years since my permanent return to Toronto, I've been able to retain my knowledge of the brightest and best in the seiyuu world, back in the early 90s, I had no idea who was voicing who in the world of anime back then although my buddy would rattle them off all the time. I simply smiled and nodded. So it was a surprise to find out that on hearing the above song at my buddy's house, two of the singers involved here were seiyuu that I do know now.

"Kataomoi Shika Shiranai Kuse ni" (Even Though My Unrequited Love Is Still Unknown) is on one of the many albums devoted to "Ah! Megami-sama", "Kamisama no Okurimono"(神さまの贈りもの...God's Present)from 1993. And the singers (under the group name of Goddess Family Club) are the ones who played the goddesses Belldandy, Urd and Skuld, seiyuu Kikuko Inoue(井上喜久子), Yumi Touma(冬馬由美)and Aya Hisakawa(久川綾 )respectively.

Touma is a seiyuu that hasn't rung a bell with me although looking her up on J-Wiki, I found out that she had played the cold-as-ice mother to heroine Miho Nishizumi in the recent sleeper hit "Girls und Panzer". However, Inoue and Hisakawa are voices that I've heard everywhere in the last few years in more older authority roles. Inoue, of course, is eternally 17 years old. However, realizing that it was Hisakawa who was voicing the often-petulant Skuld was surprising since at around the same time, she was the shy and reasonable voice behind the arguably even more famous Sailor Mercury in the "Sailor Moon" franchise.

Anyways, listening to "Kataomoi Shika Shiranai Kuse ni" was quite pleasant and nostalgic since its arrangement sounds like something that I would have heard in the lighter side of Japanese pop back in the late 80s or early 90s just from the choice of synths. I've sometimes said that anison from a certain age had elements from an even earlier age, and I think this song is one example of this. Perhaps I can even pick up a certain Resort Pop sound in it as well. The song by the way was composed by Kenji Kawai(川井憲次)and written by Sora Hasegawa(長谷川空).

I'm devoting "Kataomoi Shika Shiranai Kuse ni" to veteran seiyuu Yuko Mizutani(水谷優子). She performed so many roles but considering that my family still watches "Chibi Maruko-chan" on TV Japan, I know her best as Maruko's older sister, Sakiko Sakura. Unfortunately, I found out this morning that Mizutani had passed away a couple of days ago from breast cancer at the too-young age of 51. Go-meifuku wo o-inori shimasu.

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