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, August 10, 2018

Mayumi Kojima -- Poltergeist(ポルターガイスト)

I remember watching Steven Spielberg's "Poltergeist" which came out in the same year as his "E.T.", 1982. If I were to use a movie character analogy, the former would be the Wicked Witch of the West as compared to the latter's Glinda. That scene where the guy saw his face falling off in the mirror was worthy of hiding behind a pillow.

Well, this "Poltergeist" is far less terrifying and a whole lot cooler. Some of my favourite jazz songs have been from the Big Band era with the thundering drums and the back & forth of the other instruments: "In The Mood", "Sing, Sing, Sing" and Count Basie's "Stereophonic". "Poltergeist" here by singer-songwriter Mayumi Kojima(小島麻由美)has got all of that.

I'm really starting to feel that her discography is well worth exploring after the whimsical "Hatsukoi"(はつ恋)and this one. "Poltergeist" came out as the first track in her 5th album "Ai no Poltergeist"(愛のポルターガイスト...Poltergeist of Love)from January 2003. And unlike her usual tag of being a Shibuya-kei singer, I think "Poltergeist" is straight down Zoot Suit Alley. My first exposure to this twangy and delicious tune was through the music video with the sight of a number of drummers doing their thing while Kojima nonchalantly sang away.

I had wanted to write something about "Poltergeist" for some time but it wasn't until earlier tonight that I noticed comments under the video stating "Ghost Hound brought me here". Well, it didn't take long to find out that Kojima's cool tune was used as the opening theme for a 2007 anime titled "Ghost Hound" by Masamune Shirow(士郎正宗), the fellow behind "Ghost In The Shell". Who would have thought that jazz and supernatural goings-on could go so well together?

This week has been pretty good for discovering some kakkoii anison. The catchy rock of "Flashback" and now the jazz of "Poltergeist". Incidentally, Kojima's "Ai no Poltergeist" peaked at No. 17 on Oricon.


  1. Hello J-Canuck,

    I remember watching this anime back in the day. It was supposed to be Production I.G.'s 20 year anniversary project. With Masumune Shirow on board it was highly anticipated.

    I watched it in real time, waiting patiently each week to see what happened next. It was a tense and suspenseful piece of work that reminded me of another anime that had a similar type of creepy vibe airing at the same time; Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni.

    Up until the last two episodes, it delivered!

    However, either due to low ratings, running out of money or something I've yet to discover, they decided to shorten its original run from 26 to 22 episodes. The finale seemed rushed. So much so that all of the momentum was crushed as the series tied up the story lines too quickly.

    If they had allowed this anime to have the extra 4 episodes it needed to tell the story properly maybe it would be as well remembered as Higurashi.

    As the kids would say, Ghost Hound didn't die it was murdered!

    That's why, even if it is remembered (after bringing up the existence of Ghost Hound) it has since been forgotten along with a lot of good anime that was ended abruptly.

    (Looking at the creators of Chou Kousoku Galvion damn it!. Even the theme song to that show was cool and 80s aF! The singer is Riyuko Tanaka)

    ...and yes, you really want to click this link.

    I mean, I really digressed (is that a word?) from a show made in the 21st century aughties to another show made in the 20th century 1980s.

    I think I need to lay down now.

    Anywho,thanks for the flashback!

    1. Hello, Chasing Showa!

      Yes, I've been reading about this anime through sites such as TV Tropes, and the comments have echoed your sentiments about the finale leaving a lot of threads unsewn. Rather too bad about that, but it's not unprecedented since reading about "Evangelion" and "Nadia of Blue Water". Not sure whether Shirow had a nervous breakdown with "Ghost Hound".

      But it was quite the inspired choice to have "Poltergeist", a song that was already a few years old, as a theme song for an anime, despite the title being quite appropriate for it.


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