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 28, 2017

NMB48 -- Kitagawa Kenji (北川謙二)

Osaka hasn't been a city that I have visited in some decades but way back when, my uncle's family used to live in the downtown neighbourhood of Namba. My recollection of the area was that it was a massive criss-cross of covered commercial streets...a colony of shopping arcades. My uncle ran a stationery shop and the family's apartment was upstairs. I stayed there twice during my childhood and remembering about it now, I just marvel at how several people could live in such a small place. Mind you, my own pad in Ichikawa wasn't exactly a Beverly Hills mansion either.

A few nights ago on the weekly broadcast of NHK's "Uta Kon"(うたコン), the theme was all about travel across the country which meant that train-based songs were in the majority. However, the last 10 minutes or so were dedicated to other songs. One of the guests was the alphabet girl group NMB48 (now you know why I used the introduction of my time in Namba) and they sang something perky called "Kitagawa Kenji"(Kenji Kitagawa).

It was quite the unusual title for an aidoru tune although my first impression what NMB48 must have been quite enamored with the fellow according to how cheerful the ladies were. Marcos V. put up the first NMB48 number, the technopop "Kamonegix"(カモネギックス)but "Kitagawa Kenji", which was their 6th single from November 2012 released about a year before "Kamonegix", was more along the usual lines of an uptempo aidoru number in the alphabet group era.

Still the question remained. Who or what was Kitagawa Kenji? Well, looking at the J-Wiki account of the song, "Kitagawa Kenji" took its title from the name of an assistant producer in charge of video for NMB48's sister group in Tokyo, AKB48. Supposedly Yasushi Akimoto's(秋元康)lyrics spoke on some school guys' feelings of jealousy against a student with that name. Apparently, he was attracting the girls better than a magnet on iron filings. Shunsuke Tanaka(田中俊亮)took care of the happy-happy music.

I wonder how the real Mr. Kitagawa must have felt at realizing his titular song became another No. 1 for the group, and it even became the 17th-ranked single for 2012...after being released in November of that year! My hope is that he has a wife or girlfriend who kept him very grounded. That sort of recognition could swell a head.

The single was also a track on NMB48's first original album "Teppen Tottande!"(てっぺんとったんで!...Because We Got The Top!)from February 2013. It hit No. 1 and ended up as the No. 5 album of that year.

1 comment:

  1. I heard that Kitagawa's job is to censor all images where we can see the girls panties. If it's true, this song is like an appreciation of his hard work xD


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