As another year comes to an end, all that nostalgia starts making a buildup and on Japanese TV, that probably will mean another round of music specials on at least some of the networks showing off some of those old classics with some of those old singers returning to perform them at least one more time.
Nanase Aikawa（相川七瀬）is one of those singers that still has my memory and heart hearkening back 20 years. She was basically a hit maker of the 1990s so my early years in Tokyo working for NOVA and then one other English conversation school could have some of her stuff filling the soundtrack of my life at that point.
I actually was in close proximity to her one day when I was having lunch with one of my students and his family at a cute little restaurant near their old apartment west of Shibuya. She was apparently having lunch with her own family a couple of tables away. When my student calmly pointed her out to me, my back was actually facing the Aikawa family and I made a half-hearted attempt to turn around. I was never a celebrity or had any friends who were but I still could understand their need for privacy so I just accepted his explanation and went on eating. The food was good there so that kept my attention quite well.
Anyways, another one of Aikawa's contributions to the soundtrack of my life was "Koigokoro" (Awakening of Love), her 5th single from October 1996. Tetsuro Oda（織田哲郎）wrote and composed this song which sounded like a mix between an old exotic kayo from the late 1970s and a B'z tune. It definitely had an adventurous spirit to it as the rocker sang about the discovery of love only when the target of that love has gone off somewhere. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz. I thought it was the J-Pop equivalent of a rousing action flick set somewhere in Asia. Actually I remember the original music video for "Koigokoro" in which Aikawa and a fellow actor were taking on Bonnie & Clyde roles as they tried to beat the law but the law won.
"Koigokoro" hit No. 2 on Oricon, the highest ranking that Aikawa has achieved to date and is currently the most successful of her single releases. Selling more than 100,000 copies every week for 5 weeks straight, the song would eventually sell over 1.1 million CDs becoming her first million-seller in 12 weeks. It was also the 23rd-ranked single of 1996.
The single was also a track on her 2nd album "paraDOX" which was released in July 1997. It hit No. 1 and became the 13th-ranked album of the year.