Just last night, I was talking about how the technopop or New Wave genre in Japan was quite a bit deeper than I had thought all those decades ago through the song "Myun Myun" (ミュンミュン) by Chakra (チャクラ). And of course, all throughout this blog's existence, I've been remarking about how many hidden delights have revealed themselves from City Pop.
Well, now I can add R&B to the list and from an unusual source...a Sega Dreamcast game that was first sold in 2000. Called "Roommania #203", it was some sort of simulation game which involved trying to get some young fellow to do stuff in a room; I was never a big fan of video games so the concept for this game hasn't exactly floored me but I found out about this one song that is in the game that has.
It's called "Boku no Mashu" (My Love, Marshmallow) by a music unit called Serani Poji (セラニポージ) that was brought together for the purposes of the game. Man, it's got that old-style R&B beat that I love and miss and it came out on the group's debut album "manamoon" (まなもぉん) which was released a few months before the game in October 1999. Some of the other songs on the album sound pretty good as well although they are in different genres. The album also acts as the official soundtrack for "Roommania #203".
The more laid-back Gentle Whisper version of the song is also pretty darn easy on the ears. Pretty darn good timing as well since the J-R&B boom during the turn of the century was in full swing. Wish the pendulum would swing back once more. I realize the vocalist here has a whispery and cutesy voice but I can't help but feel if PSY-S had gone more into a soulful direction, this could have been one of their tunes.
Serani Poji consists of three members: Yukichi (ゆきち) from the pop group CECIL, actress/singer Yumi Higashino（東野佑美）, and Tomoko Sasaki（ササキトモコ）who was responsible for the music behind the game. A few more releases by the unit came out before it decided to go into "hibernation" as it described its status in 2004. However, the group woke up once more to release a new album in 2010 titled "Merry Go Round Jailhouse".
And here is a sample of the game as provided in English, although I'm more interested in the soundtrack.