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.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Date of Birth -- you are my secret

JTM and I had a good talk tonight, part of which revolved around some of the darker J-Dramas that had come on during the early 1990s. One of the most famous of these was TBS's "Koukou Kyoushi"(高校教師)from 1993 which involved an illicit love affair between a high school teacher and a student amid a whole bunch of sordidness.

Then I recalled that there were a few other examples of TV J-Noir back around that time. One that I remember watching on VHS tape while I was back in Toronto was Fuji-TV's 1992 "Anata Dake Mienai"(あなただけ見えない...You're The Only One I Can't See)which was one of the shows in the then-prestige slot of Monday at 9 pm. In fact, I read that it was the second of what the network labeled its "Three Jet Coaster Dramas" which featured one noir drama in each of 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Starring Kyoko Koizumi(小泉今日子), Hiroshi Mikami(三上博史)and Masahiro Motoki(本木雅弘), "Anata Dake Mienai" was a psychological horror/suspense which dipped into true horror near the end. I don't remember much of the drama's plot since understanding the nitty-gritty of J-Drama stories was simply beyond me at that time. But what I do remember were certain scenes such as one character having three different personalities, another character ending up lobotomized for being the hero, a couple of decapitations (got to see the heads, too) and a brutal slashing-to-death in a bathroom. Did I say that this was Monday-at-9 drama? "Tokyo Love Story", this wasn't.

Another highlight of the show was the theme song, "you are my secret" by the band Date of Birth. It was quite the distinctive theme for a prime time drama due to its suave 60s spy-ish arrangement (twangy guitar) and the fact that the lyrics were all in English (and delivered like a nice brandy). And for all these years, I had assumed that Date of Birth was an American unit but it is actually a Japanese band from Fukuoka.

Date of Birth is written up as a New Music/J-Pop band that started life in 1982 as Mind Control but then changed its name in 1985. It's a family affair with the Shigeto Brothers of Isao, Susumu and Kenichi(重藤功、進、賢一)and then Susumu's wife Norico as the vocalist. "you are my secret" was the band's 2nd single from February 1992. I don't know how it did on Oricon but I do remember that the song did garner some talk. Norico and Roy Garner took care of the lyrics while Isao Shigeto came up with the cool music.

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