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.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Eri Nitta -- Fuyu no Opera Glass (冬のオペラグラス)

Many of Onyanko Club’s (おニャン子クラブ) members were not truly talented singers, but they still managed to sell huge quantities of records when going solo in the mid-80s. That was the case of cute Eri Nitta (新田恵利) and her combination of childish voice with off-key singing.

Following the success of Onyanko Club, her solo debut “Fuyu no Opera Glass”, which was released in January 1986, was a hit. Musically, while a litte bit outdated for its time – or retro, if you prefer –, it was fine (it reminds something from the 60s, but many aidoru songs from the 80s had the same effect on me). The problem was Eri Nitta herself, and I must say you need to be a true fan of cute female aidoru to stand it without getting a little uneasy.

However, more effective than describing how bad she sounded, famous impersonator Miracle Hikaru (ミラクルひかる) just summed all up with her own performance of “Fuyu no Opera Glass”. Even Eri Nitta, who shared the stage with her, had a true laugh when Miracle Hikaru did the “iei iei iei, uou uou uou uou” thing. Just watch it below.

As a bonus, here’s Miracle Hikaru doing her Shizuka Kudo (工藤静香) impersonation. I laughed hard with it, especially since – as a fan of Shizuka Kudo – I was able to recognize every little joke she did while impersonating. Aso, Kimutaku (木村拓哉) was in the audience.

In the end, this post was not intended to bash on Eri Nitta, as I quite like her the way she is. However, it’s undeniable that her singing was vey clumsy, to say the least.

“Fuyu no Opera Glass” reached #1 on the Oricon chart selling 320,000 copies. Lyrics were written by Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康), while music and arrangement were composed by Jun Saito (佐藤準).



  1. I've seen the title for the song a number of times before and was intrigued about the use of opera glasses so I'm glad that you were able to cover it. As it turns out, "Fuyu on Opera Glass" is a Japanese rock-n'-roll tune straight out of the early 1980s!

    As for Niita's, yeah...I don't think ladies like Hiromi Iwasaki ever found her to be a threat by any means. However, there is that sense of nostalgia on listening to the individual Onyanko during those days when actual talent was optional.

    I gotta say, though, that Miracle Hikaru pulled off a true miracle with her makeup when she copied Shizuka. The real Shizuka doesn't look like this now but Hikaru did look like a potential middle-aged Shizuka. As the hosts were mentioning off the top of the video, even they were impressed by the similarity.

    I have to find out about how Shizuka speaks English. I had heard that she speaks with a British accent!

    1. Hi, J-Canuck.

      I just had a laugh with your sentence about "talent being optional" in those days. it couldn't be more true, especially when it comes to Onyanko's members. However, what I find interesting, is that lyricists, composers and arrangers were good at creating nice pop songs for them. So, even though the vocals were not something to be proud of, the music itself - although rarely revolutionaty by any means - was very professional.

      Yeah, about Shizuka, she's not ageing as well as other 80s aidoru, but I must admit having a little crush on her, even nowadays. Serious though, when it comes to beauty, I think she was at the top of her game during the mid-to-late 90s.

    2. Hello, Marcos.

      Yeah, I think what makes these old 80s aidoru tunes still appealing to a lot of us is that they were crafted well despite the lack of ability among the singing boys and girls of the time. When you have folks like Mariya Takeuchi, Tatsuro Yamashita and Yuming backing you up, even off-tune doesn't sound as bad.

  2. I also think Nitta Eri is a meh-meh singer ... Too "idolish" for my taste, and I bet most of her songs are candy-coated to the max!

    But, I love "Who?", a very uptempo and eurobeat-influenced song released circa 1989. There is a video of Nitta performing this song here:



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