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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Yuiko Tsubokura -- Choose Me(チューズ・ミー)

I had finished my first full year on the JET Programme, and the No. 1 single of 1990 was "Odoru Ponpokorin"(おどるポンポコリン), the eternal theme song for the long-running "Chibi Maruko-chan"(ちびまる子ちゃん). Sung by novelty band B.B. Queens, I wouldn't find out until later that the squeaky-voiced female vocalist was Yuiko Tsubokura(坪倉唯子) a singer who actually has had a powerhouse voice and has sung one of the best City Pop numbers that I had ever heard of, "Tsukanoma Yotogi Bito"(一瞬夜伽伴侶).

But "Chibi Maruko-chan" wasn't the only anime that Tsubokura was associated with, I think she also added a few tunes to the "Kimagure Orange Road"(きまぐれオレンジ☆ロード)franchise as well. Case in point: there was the opening theme for the 1991 3rd OVA for "KOR", "Choose Me".

I'm sure that there are folks who may be hearing "Odoru Ponpokorin" and "Choose Me" for the first time, and are doing a double-take. This is the same singer?! Oh, yeah. She is cute in the former and sultry and sexy in the latter.

Written by SHOW and composed by Kazuya Izumi(和泉一弥), despite the release year, "Choose Me" definitely has that 80s pop/rock feeling, and when I first heard it, I couldn't help but be reminded of those montages in those action films where the protagonist is training for some major fight in the ring or a battle on the street. Let's see Arnie and Sly and Bruce getting pumped up to this one, eh! In any case, some of my nostalgia alarms were going off at the arrangement. And man, what a voice by Tsubokura.

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