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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mariko Nagai -- YOU AND I

Ah...yes. "Yawara!" That fashionable judo girl. The anime series lasted longer than the time I was in Gunma Prefecture on the JET Programme so I missed out on the final season. Not that I could be a regular viewer of the show on Monday nights anyways since I was regularly asked to dinner to have some English conversation with an elderly couple then.

Well, watching that loopy-and-flashy opening credits sequence that regularly launched a "Yawara!" episode, it looks like the final season finally saw the show's raison d'etre, namely young Yawara Inokuma achieving her mission to make it to the 1992 Barcelona Games for a medal in judo, come to fruition. I never saw that final season but I hope that she did get that Gold.

Also, I didn't know that perky Mariko Nagai(永井真理子)had one more go-round with the opening theme song. My very first Nagai article was "Miracle Girl" which served as the opening theme for Season 1, and so Nagai performed the theme for Season 3, "YOU AND I"...not to be confused with Keizo Nakanishi's(中西圭三)soul tune with the same title that came out a year later.

Nope, Nagai's "YOU AND I" was written and composed by singer-songwriter Taizo Jinnouchi(陣内大蔵)as her 16th single in April 1992. It is a song that I had heard before although I didn't know about its connection with "Yawara!" and it plays to her usual strengths of happy and inspiring. The song broke into the Oricon Top 10 getting as high as No. 7. I wouldn't have asked for a better song to finish the series on.

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