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, February 12, 2017

Chisato Moritaka -- GET SMILE

My default image of Chisato Moritaka(森高千里)has been that bouncing techno-aidoru in uniforms that would have the Las Vegas strip crying for mercy while singing in that high nasal voice. But considering that 12-year period between 1987 and 1999 when she was releasing singles, that image was really only around for a few years going into the 90s. Still, it has left such an impression that if anyone ever mentions her name, that's the image I will always get first.

So, on hearing and watching her 3rd single "GET SMILE" just now, it was interesting seeing Chisato in her early years before that image came to be. According to the original music video, her fashion was more about the dark leather or pretty regular clothes, and her voice was a fair bit lower so a lot of the nasal side was missing. I had heard bits and pieces of the song in the past but if I heard it now without the video or identity of the singer, it would have taken me several seconds to peg her as Moritaka.

Those high tones only come out in the refrain and I think the way the highest note gets delivered slightly off-center is actually quite adorable. Plus, the synthesizers by Ken Shima(島健), who also composed and arranged "GET SMILE" bring back the nostalgic 80s for me. Meanwhile, Hiromasa Ijichi(伊秩弘将)took care of the lyrics; he had also provided a number of songs for Misato Watanabe(渡辺美里)during that decade and would come up with some of the big hits for SPEED in the 1990s.

"GET SMILE" was released in February 1988 and got as high as No. 28 on the charts. The song was also included in Moritaka's 2nd album "Mi-Ha-" (ミーハー) which came out a month later.

Over a quarter of a century later in 2014, Moritaka did a self-cover of "GET SMILE" with an ambitious green screen.


  1. I also tend to associate Chisato Moritaka with red lipstick, long hair and a fluffy mini-skirt. No idol could beat that style!
    But I love her early songs, such as Get Smile and New Season. The synthesizers are so nostalgic.

    1. Hey, Henrique.

      Yeah, it's always interesting to see the iconic singers in their early years...the proto-version, so to speak. Sometimes, they had intriguing things to say back then. Oh, and don't get me started on those synths. They are so nostalgic that I have started to see them in sepia. :)


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.