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, August 4, 2018

Miho Komatsu/La PomPon -- Nazo(謎)

Earlier today, I had a great deal of fun watching "Mission: Impossible ~ Fallout". As usual, Tom Cruise showed why he has only been half-jokingly referred to as the world's most famous stuntperson. I would expect that the next installment will have him perform the world's first orbital fistfight outside the International Space Station.

Going from one legendary crime fighter to another, also as usual, my family has been enjoying the exploits of Conan the pipsqueak sleuth in "Meitantei Conan"(名探偵コナン...Detective Conan/Case Closed). The above opening credit sequence is the one currently being used for the TV Japan broadcasts so I think we are about 3 years behind the ones being shown in Japan. The interesting thing, though, is listening to the current theme song, "Nazo" (The Mystery) by dancing and singing group La PomPon, an engram of memory flashed off in my head for some reason.

"Nazo" was La PomPon's 3rd single from September 2015. The group, which had its run between 2013 and its final concert in March 2018, consisted of six women in their late teens and early twenties: Misaki, Yukino, Rima, Hina, Kiri and Karen. La PomPon was under the Being label which included in its flock artists such as Maki Ohguro(大黒摩季), B'z, and Zard. And if I'm not mistaken, these three acts also provided their musical contributions to the "Conan" franchise. The single did very well by peaking at No. 8 on Oricon.

Now, getting back to the mystery of "Nazo". I was wondering how my memories would engage over a song by a singing group that hadn't even formed until well after I returned from Japan for good. And yet, I distinctly remember some echo of the tune.

Well, it turns out that La PomPon's "Nazo" is a cover of the original by singer-songwriter Miho Komatsu(小松 未歩), her debut single in May 1997. Plus, the original was also used as an opening theme for "Meitantei Conan" a couple of decades ago. As someone who used to watch TBS' "Countdown TV" while I was living in Ichikawa, Komatsu, and this particular song especially, occupied the rankings for a long time. In fact, it was in the Oricon rankings for 32 weeks after release, peaking at No. 9. It not only went Gold, selling a little over 325,000 copies, but it also became the Conan theme tune with the longest run in the show's history at around a year.

Listening to the original version, there is that sense of B'z in the arrangement although Komatsu didn't actually belong to the Being label at the time of the release of "Nazo".She released the song from Zain Records but would later transfer to GIZA Studio which is actually the Kansai wing for Being.

Komatsu was active in the music industry until around 2006, and up to that point, she released 26 singles and 8 original albums.

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