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.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Maki Hanatani -- Datte, Gyutte Shite (だって、ギュってして。)

Well, I finally got my copy of the early 2016 anison earworm "Kumamiko Dancing" from the anime "Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear" (くまみこ). I wrote about the song almost a year ago, apparently while the show was still playing.

At the time, I mentioned that although the first episode looked very promising, the bandwagon seemed to lose a few tires as the episodes rolled along. Well, that final episode pretty much sent that 18-wheeler over a cliff (to paraphrase a description of one of the local teams here during a very bad season). In fact, from my anime buddy and some of the comments I've read online, the reaction over the fact that the main character of Machi ends up mentally broken and controlled by her best bruin friend Natsu and the rest of the village while the happy music is playing in the background left everyone, including the original author of the manga, very cold. It actually kinda reminded me of a 1960s Roman Polanski psycho-horror.

After the finale aired in front of me, I simply wondered aloud "Wait a minute...all this time she was going through this sturm und drang about having a life in the city while fighting demons internal and external, and she ended up going goo-goo and happily staying in her remote village prison?!"

Years ago, some fellow ingeniously crafted a number of scenes from Stanley Kubrick's horror "The Shining" and turned it into a parody trailer for a happy-go-lucky heartwarming flick "Shining". I will never hear Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" again without getting an urge to giggle.

I think there might be some enterprising fellow out there who could take scenes from the supposedly serene slice-of-life anime "Kumamiko" and create a psycho-horror trailer out of that.

Although not quite the earworm that "Kumamiko Dancing" is, I remember the opening theme "Datte, Gyutte Shite" (Well, Because...Hug Me) sung by Maki Hanatani(花谷麻妃)fairly fondly. It's quite the twinkly little number with the credits showing Natsu and Machi having a fine old time in places like Paris. Frankly, I would have enjoyed some of that stuff in the actual show.

The other thing that caught my attention with "Datte, Gyutte Shite" was the lyricist and composer Bonjour Suzuki (ボンジュール鈴木). She's already been mentioned in the blog through her creation of another anison for the goofy and less sinister show "Sekko Boys"(石膏ボーイズ), the Bay City Rollers-like "Hoshizora Rendezvous"(星空ランデブー).

But I also remember her from a couple of years earlier when she created and sang the opening theme for yet another bear-themed anime "Yurikuma Arashi" (ユリ熊嵐...LOVE BULLET YURIKUMA ARASHI) that my friend and I saw back in 2015. That was also a rather bizarre show with some "Suspiria" undertones. Her "Ano Mori de Matteru" (あの森で待ってる...I'll Be Waiting In Those Woods)...I'll have to talk about it soon...was haunting and sexy at the same time thanks to her whispery delivery with that slight French accent. According to her biography at her website, she spent some time in France at university at least.

With "Datte, Gyutte Shite", Hanatani is more straight-on cute although the French vocabulary is peppered in there. It's almost as if she is channeling a much more well-adjusted Machi having the time of her life. Well, I can only hope she has fared better in the manga.

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