Credits

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, June 29, 2018

Tetsuwan Miracle Babies -- TALK SHOW


Ah...The Tunnels(とんねるず). Back in my JET days, Thursday nights were almost always Tunnels nights. The comedy duo of Takaaki Ishibashi and Noritake Kinashi(石橋貴明・木梨憲武)was just thrilling, entertaining and terrifying viewers and guests (sometimes even themselves) alike with their insane antics whether it be knocking down really expensive TV cameras live or frankly harassing the aforementioned guests...especially the female ones (although I remember one scene where Ishibashi was even molesting Hiromi Go!) .


My main source of Tunnels craziness was Fuji-TV's "Tunnels no Minasan no Okage desu"(とんねるずのみなさんのおかげです)on Thursday nights at 9pm. The show was an amalgam of movie/TV parodies and wacky challenges (which may have been partially responsible for Westerners' idea of a Japanese game show) with regular tarento such as Onyanko Club(おニャン子クラブ)graduate Marina Watanabe(渡辺満里奈)helping out...or enduring. I loved the show so much that I taped a lot of the episodes onto VHS and brought them home with me. They're still stored somewhere and I've still got the VCR.


However, late Saturday nights for 7 years between 1987 and 1994 was also another Fuji-TV and Tunnels collaboration of a different type. This was "Neruton Beni Kujira Dan"(ねるとん紅鯨団...Nelton Red Whale Party) or "Nelton Club" which was the matchmaking show in Japan years before America's "The Bachelor". It was a whole lot more innocent, too. 

To be honest, I wasn't all that much into "Nelton Club" despite its popularity since I thought the idea of watching young folk wooing each other awkwardly on the small screen was...bleaugh! But the show did attract a lot of famous folks as guests as you can see above.


But even I can remember the theme song that started off each and every episode of "Nelton Club". It was this mix of dance-pop and Latin that I would find out was titled "TALK SHOW" and was performed by a group of women called Tetsuwan Miracle Babies(鉄腕ミラクルベイビーズ...Strong Arm Miracle Babies).

I had never heard of this trio but according to this one site, vocalist Satoko*(倫子)and bassist Taeko(妙子)who had been members of the band Hot Rod joined up with their old schoolmate, drummer Kumiko(久美子), to form Tetsuwan Miracle Babies, perhaps in 1986. One other member had been recruited through an advertisement in a music magazine but left within a year. Their 15 minutes of fame came in 1987 when Masaya Ozeki(尾関昌也)wrote and composed the spicy "TALK SHOW" for them, and the ladies exhorted the guys to get off their duffs and get romancin'.

"Nelton Club" may not have been my cup of ocha, but that theme I will always remember. Plus, one commercial tune that got played on the show weekly has become thoroughly embedded into my memories as one very natsukashii song of my time in Gunma.

*The kanji for the name has a lot of readings so that I'm purely guessing. I just chose the first name at the top at jisho.org.

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