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, August 29, 2017

Banana Zero Music (バナナ♪ゼロミュージック)

With the grande dame of NHK's music programming "Uta Kon"(うたコン)off for half the summer (mind you, it's coming back tonight), some of the other NHK music shows have been coming to the fore on TV Japan. There has been "Utau! SHOW Gakko"(歌う!SHOW学校)hosted by enka legend Hiroshi Itsuki(五木ひろし)but it seems as if the national network has been much more strict in ensuring that even small scenes from that show don't get up on YouTube.

However, there is the other NHK program "Banana Zero Music" hosted by the comedic duo Bananaman(バナナマン). The two shows make an interesting contrast. Both of them made their debut in April 2016 but whereas "Utau! SHOW Gakko" has Itsuki-sensei instructing his guest "students" (tarento and enka singers) while taking part in some of the old kayo in an ancient junior high school classroom, "Banana Zero Music" goes into the relatively more recent J-Pop stuff on a bright day-glo typically variety-show set.

Plus, it is truly a variety show with a capital "V". Along with the usual appearances of singers, producers and songwriters, there's some location shooting and quiz games involving music with Bananaman and friends even getting in on the singing act. Both "Banana Zero Music" and "Utau! SHOW Gakko" go heavier on the talk and hijinks side compared to "Uta Kon" and "Nodo Jiman"(のど自慢)but I get to learn some more about the lyrics and even some of those songwriters' tricks of the trade sometimes.

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