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, May 5, 2017

Anri -- Dancing with the sunshine

Bloody Mary, I'd like you to meet Floody Friday. Yep, it's been an extremely rainy past couple of days in Toronto. City Hall is even thinking of closing down the major north-south artery, the Don Valley Parkway due to the possibility of becoming the world's longest swimming pool. Ugh!

Anyways for folks in North America who became of age in the 1980s, do any of you remember one of those quintessential television icons of the decade "20-Minute Workout"? I certainly do. I think it was on at one point twice a day...once during the afternoons and maybe once in the morning. Ladies in big hair and leotards were just bouncing around at an intimidatingly high rate while we gawked in awe and jealousy and dread, but probably not with any intention to do any exercise (that last part I can only speak for myself). Bess Motta was one of the workout hosts and she ended up becoming one of the victims in the very first "Terminator" movie. I saw a bit of the above video and noticed hearing background music that sounded promisingly like a future Vaporwave target. But the show wasn't about A E S T H E T I C S; it was about A E R O B I C S!

Well, "20-Minute Workout" was something that I automatically thought about when I heard Anri's(杏里)"Dancing with the sunshine" for the first time via my copy of "The Anri"(ザ・杏里), an early compilation of her hits that JTM had written about four years ago. Perhaps "20-Minute Workout" didn't quite make it over to Japan but most likely the aerobics boom made it over there via Hollywood movies like "Flashdance", ripped sweaters, leggings and all.

This was the B-side to Anri's huge hit "Cat's Eye" from August 1983 which was the first opening theme to the anime of the same name. "Dancing with the sunshine" was the first ending theme and as you can see from above, the Kisugi sisters had to do their 20-minute workout (or maybe 1:32 workout) before going out on their usual art thefts. Even crime needs fitness.

I have to admit that it was a bit weird to hear the backup chorus (EVE, maybe?) and Anri make like workout instructors while singing this mix of gym-friendly and disco-friendly funkiness. Plus, my imagination being as it is, one part of the ladies' exhortations sounded like a workout of another kind. It's a bit of kitschy fun, this "Dancing with the sunshine". The same duo who came up with "Cat's Eye" the theme song also provided this B-side, Yoshiko Miura and Yuuichiro Oda(三浦徳子・小田裕一郎).

Here's figuring that if a future anime convention ever decides to have an 80s-theme day with an exercise component for cosplayers, I think I have found the perfect song.

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