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, May 26, 2018

Kohei Dojima/Yum!Yum!ORANGE -- Kameari Rhapsody(葛飾ラプソディー)

When I was living briefly in Katsushika Ward(葛飾区), Tokyo, in November 1994, I remember taking the local train from Shibamata(柴又)down to Ueno and passing by a station called Kameari(亀有). I never got off at the station but many years later, I found out that a famous manga and later anime were set in that neighbourhood. Have yet to read the manga and watch any of the anime in its entirety but I remember seeing from time to time the main character of "Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo"こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所...This is the Police Station in Front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward...the literal translation although the official English title is KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops), a burly policeman with some monstrous eyebrows manning a koban there.

Considering that Shibamata is the furusato of the one-and-only Tora-san, the beloved and eternally lovelorn traveling salesman of the movies, I've sometimes wondered if Officer Kankichi Ryotsu(両津勘吉)and Torajiro Kuruma(車寅次郎)ever lived in the same ward of Katsushika in the same universe. Both of them are utterly zany and keep on concocting various harebrained schemes. However, with Ryo-san, from what I've read of his description, he seems to have the enhanced strength and stamina of Captain America but the personality of Bart Simpson. Tora-san will always be Tora-san. If the two of them ever met, I predict that it would be either hate-at-first-sight or middle ground.

After my month of life in shitamachi, I moved out to Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture. Not that I ever regretted my residency in suburbia (will never complain of an area with the amount of convenience stores and restaurants my old neighbourhood had), but I've sometimes wondered what it could have been like living in the old downtown of Tokyo.

One reason for the wondering is strangely enough the third opening theme for "KochiKame", the down-home "Kameari Rhapsody" by singer-songwriter Kohei Dojima(堂島孝平). I don't think I had ever heard of any kayo, let alone an anison, done in Dixieland jazz style but with "Kameari Rhapsody", there it is. It's quite comforting in its way so I can imagine taking a nice walk to the local street mall to pick up some groceries in Kameari while listening to this one.

For Dojima, this was his 7th single from May 1997 and it was also included in his 2011 BEST compilation, "BEST OF HARD CORE POP!"

In 2003, the ska band Yum!Yum!ORANGE released an energetic cover version of "Kameari Rhapsody" as their 2nd single. It peaked at No. 87 and it can also be found in their 2nd album "Orange Juice" from August 2004. That album went as high as No. 49.

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