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, May 8, 2016

Natsumi Hioka & Hiroki Yasumoto -- Kumamiko Dancing

It's been another Sunday with the anime buddy for some new programming from the spring season. And I gotta say that one of the weirder pilot episodes for an anime I've seen so far this year belongs to TV Tokyo's "Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear"(くまみこ). It's all about a miko (shrine maiden) by the name of Machi who desperately wants to leave her isolated hamlet in the mountains and go to school in the big city. The problem is that her best friend, Natsu the talking bear, isn't too keen on the idea. As someone who started post-university life in a town in the Japanese Alps, I can relate to Machi's plight to a certain extent although I liked the former Tsukiyono-machi very much (it was absorbed into what is now Minakami City); once a month, I just had to get some city under me by heading by Bullet Train down to Tokyo.

As I said, the out-there humour was quite something in the pilot episode with Machi doing a bit of cursing and getting accused of having a "deeper" relationship with Natsu while an even younger girl suddenly screamed "SEXUAL HARASSMENT" and "DON'T TOUCH ME!!" at the dopey civil servant. The following four episodes weren't quite as hilarious and the pacing hasn't been quite as fun which means I'm not totally convinced of success as of yet.

However I think the ending theme has become an earworm for me right from the end of Episode 1. Sung by seiyuu Natsumi Hioka/日岡なつみ (Machi) and Hiroki Yasumoto/安元洋貴 (Natsu), "Kumahiko Dancing" has got that funky rap down pat to a catchiness that is along the lines of last season's "Hoshizora Rendezvous"(星空ランデブー)from the nutty "Sekko Boys"(石膏ボーイズ). "Kumahiko Dancing" was written by Ryuji Sakai(坂井竜二)and composed by Shingo Yamazaki(山崎真吾).

(April 21 2017: I came across a pretty good remix of the song by no.19 u-z on YouTube. There are quite a few remixes out there.)

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