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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Katsuyuki Mito -- Kimi ga Ireba(キミがいれば)



The one word that I have to describe "Kimi ga Ireba" (As Long As You're Here) and its accompanying music video by singer-songwriter Katsuyuki Mito(ミトカツユキ)is SNAZZY. Sounding like an even more soulful Noriyuki Makihara(槇原敬之), Mito incorporates some ballet-like jazz piano tinkling along with funky arrangements to make this November 2007 single a happy-go-lucky winner in my books.

All that music goodness in one song is perhaps no surprise after reading his bio on J-Wiki in which Mito, who had started on piano when he was around 4 years old in his native Hokkaido, got the performing bug after hearing Earth Wind & Fire's legendary "September" on the radio one day. While doing gigs in Sapporo, he worked on a variety of jazz, soul and gospel pieces. When he came south to Tokyo in 2004, he did some busking along with work as a radio personality and even helping in the making of some drama theme songs.

"Kimi ga Ireba" was Mito's 5th single out of six that he has released so far, and he's released a slew of albums up to 2015, the majority of them being mini-albums.

Miharu Koshi -- Harbor Light(ハーバー・ライト)


I was listening to the above, Miharu Koshi's(越美晴)"Golden Best" which had been released sometime in 2006, and this single CD Best album has many of her songs in the first part of her career between 1979 and 1981 when she was exploring the City Pop and AOR genres.

(4:04)

One of the tracks on "Golden Best" is "Harbor Light" which was the B-side to Koshi's 1979 4th single "Kardia no Umi"(カルディアの海). Written and composed by the singer, in comparison with the tropical intrigue of that A-side, "Harbor Light" seems to take things back to downtown Tokyo with its own mysteries of late-night trysts. I do like that bouncy piano and the introductory riff that reminds me of Billy Joel's "The Stranger". The melody, though, kinda weaves back and forth between the not-so-desired secrecy and the best part of the whirlwind romance. However, as they say, all good things come to an end.


Kiyomi Suzuki -- Yoake no Starlight(夜明けのスタライト)


I had been hoping that it would happen, but alas it didn't. I'm talking about the just-announced lineup for NHK's 70th Kohaku Utagassen at the end of next month, and unfortunately the White team doesn't have Masayuki Suzuki(鈴木雅之)with Rikka Ihara(伊原六花)and their "Love Dramatic"(ラブ・ドラマティック). Maybe NHK never considered them or Martin may have politely declined NHK's invitation but we won't be having some of that cool soul from him this year, unfortunately. C'est la vie.


Therefore, just to soften the blow a bit, I'm putting up this soulful ballad by Suzuki's elder sister, Kiyomi Suzuki(鈴木聖美), "Yoake no Starlight" (Sunrise Starlight) which was her 3rd single from September 1988. I'm not sure whether it had originally been recorded as a solo by Kiyomi but I do love the duet between the Suzuki siblings above. The Deities of Love Songs, indeed...

Written by Fumiko Okada(岡田冨美子)and composed by Harutoshi Noda(野田晴稔), I wouldn't mind seeing more collaborations between Kiyomi and Masayuki. It's just the thing to cool down with on a Tuesday evening. I can only imagine that New Year's Day get-togethers with the Suzuki family must be something else.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Chickenshack -- Love Is Here To Stay


A few years ago, I wrote about this jazz/fusion band called Chickenshack and how much I liked their "At Temps" from their debut album "Chickenshack I" from 1986. The musical version of nursing a cognac while resting up in a penthouse apartment after a hard day of work, it kinda felt like bringing Los Angeles to Tokyo.

(4:41)

Today, I stumbled across their 4th album, logically called "Chickenshack IV", and the band members must have been pretty prolific with their music since No. 4 came out in 1988, just a couple of years after their inaugural album.

One track that I've already really started getting into is the 2nd track "Love Is Here To Stay" which is much more of a straight-up R&B tune of those days when compared to the light and mellow AOR of "At Temps". According to the Japanese write-up at Zigsow, John Black is the vocalist for this song that seems to keep things right in LA. Most of "Love Is Here To Stay" is about strutting on the streets but then near the end comes this saxophone solo that takes listeners soaring up into the night sky for several seconds before making that soft landing back downtown.

Yuko Ando -- TEXAS


Always love a rolling melodic piano.


Not sure what the Lone Star State has to do with Yuko Ando's(安藤裕子)"TEXAS", the singer-songwriter's 5th single from July 2006. There's no mention of the state in her lyrics but there is plenty of adorable love affirmation, and perhaps not a few young couples could have adopted "TEXAS" as their tune when they first heard it. Plus, as I said off the top, I love that piano and that whole arrangement by Ando and Ryuji Yamamoto(山本隆二)which can blow all of those Monday blues away.

"TEXAS" also made its way onto Ando's 3rd full album "shabon songs" which was released in February 2007. Ironically, considering the title, I actually want a mug of cocoa with a marshmallow in it rather than a tumbler of bourbon.


Kaya Saeki -- Pretty Please


Kaya Saeki(佐伯伽耶)was a singer that I had encountered purely by accident several years ago on YouTube, and I liked her urban contemporary material so much that I decided to cover both the A and B songs for her debut single "Perfume wo Nokosenai"(パフュームを残せない)from October 1994.


Deep in the backlog, I found out that I'd put a bookmark on her 2nd single as well, "Pretty Please" which was released about a year later in October 1995. From an article about that single on another blog, the cover of the single with Saeki had me wondering whether she had decided to take a different direction with her music since she looked more like a sexy pop singer along the lines of Ryoko Shinohara(篠原涼子)at the time.

However, from reading the blogger's description and listening to the song itself, "Pretty Please" keeps things to that late 1980s City Pop feeling with perhaps a bit of Keizo Nakanishi(中西圭三)brightness. Perhaps urban contemporary music wasn't all that much in the ascendant in the 1990s so it was nice to know that there were folks like Saeki and Masayuki Suzuki(鈴木雅之)still providing some of that smooth and groovy music for painting the town red. Saeki herself provided the lyrics while Kaoru Akimoto(秋元薫)...yes, the "Dress Down" singer herself...composed "Pretty Please".


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tomita Lab -- Shiawase no Blue feat. YOSHIKA(しあわせのBlue)


The one thing that I've regretted about doing "Kayo Kyoku Plus" is that I'm no musicologist. I love my kayo and I'm happy that I've been able to communicate with other fans of kayo kyoku from all over the world over the majority of this past decade, some of whom have become writers of articles themselves here. Although I have never meant for the blog to become an academic exercise in melodic or lyrical analysis for songs like "Plastic Love" or the "Sukiyaki" song, sometimes I wish I could use some of that knowledge to explore why these particular favourites of mine have simply worked and disseminate my opinions.

Take for example, Steely Dan. This amazing band led by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker was part of my radio education when I was a kid and, without me realizing it, also tempered me to get further into Japanese pop music through the genres of City Pop and J-AOR since there was something about the secret sauce of Steely Dan that also garnered the fascination of singers and fans alike in Japan. I had always wondered what that sauce was, and it wasn't until earlier this year that I discovered this 2016 YouTube video by Nerdwriter 1 and found out that it was something called the Mu Major Chord. Again, non-musicologist me was able to glean some insight about what that particular chord is all about, but swapping notes in chords and realizing the change in sound to what is a key ingredient for a Steely Dan tune are largely lost on me unless I decide to take up the guitar or piano and start learning. What is important for me, though, is that I love what the Mu Major Chord has done for my ears all these years through music on both sides of the Pacific. Nerdwriter 1's video also has further sources for his commentary on YouTube so take a look at those if you are interested. Another great thing is that the fellow has focused on one of my favourite songs by Fagen and Becker, "Deacon Blues".


Well, now that I've got that off my chest, I can introduce this silky-smooth song called "Shiawase no Blue" (Happy Blue) sung by YOSHIKA. And guess what? I think it also uses that wonderful spice called the Mu Major Chord within those warm and honeyed horns.

"Shiawase no Blue" is a track on Tomita Lab's(冨田ラボ)February 2006 album "Shiplaunching". Written by Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)and composed by Tomita Lab, that combination automatically got my attention. The Lab Man has always known his way around a cool arrangement and hook, and of course, Ohnuki, although she didn't officially help out in the melody this time, will always be dear to me. "Shiawase no Blue" is a wistful reminiscence of a romance gone by in some tropical paradise and it's cloaked in some refreshingly cool and mellow soul, the Mu and the sexy vocals by singer-songwriter YOSHIKA.

I'd thought that YOSHIKA was already represented here on "Kayo Kyoku Plus" since I've introduced a number of m-flo tunes over the years but it looks like I have as yet to include any of her contributions within that group. But obviously, there is nothing wrong at all by starting with her work with Tomita Lab. Now, I'm thinking about including "Shiplaunching" as part of my Xmas wish list. As for that album, it peaked at No. 51 on Oricon.


Hey, we got excerpts of "Deacon Blues" up above. Why not listen to the whole song?

Yuko Tomita -- DEUX


Back in April, I wrote about pop singer-songwriter Yuko Tomita's(とみたゆう子)4th single, "Aoi Kaze"(蒼い風)and since I liked that one song so much, I decided to pick up the album that it came out on "DEUX", her 2nd album from July 1982.


To be up front about "DEUX", I've listened to it twice and although I've found a few of the tracks pretty good, it hasn't struck me as being one of those home runs. There are other tracks where I thought that they will probably have to grow on me some more.

However, the patterns that I've gotten about Tomita's tracks here, most of which were written and composed by her, are that she's delved into AOR and pop with some rock n' roll or techno kayo sprigs here and there. The first two tracks though did leave a happy impression with me. Track 1, "Morning Harbour" is definitely breezy AOR and it's something that sounds like a swift car drive on the marina highway, no matter what time of the day. You can thank Ken Yajima for the electric guitar solo there. Although he had nothing to do with the production of the album, that bit of chorus near the end sounds quite reminiscent of Tatsuro Yamashita(山下達郎).


Right after "Morning Harbour" is "Umi no Quatre Saisons"(海のキャトル・セゾン...Four Seasons of the Sea), another Tomita creation with arrangement by Kimio Mizutani(水谷公生). Her lyrics are about remembering the good times of a romance that is now over but it's the Tomita/Mizutani collaboration on how the melody makes its way through the song that has captivated me. The verses themselves sound like that typical melancholy love ballad but then when it goes into the main chorus, there is that tonal shift into something stronger and more hopeful...that there is a better tomorrow in store. I think it takes the song into Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)and even Ruiko Kurahashi(倉橋ルイ子)territory.

"Y'know, you really ought to get a belt to hold that skirt up!"


The third track, "Telephone Magic" is another Tomita/Mizutani collaborative effort that starts off like an Electric Light Orchestra tune. However then it quickly veers over to a 50s rock-and-roll-themed number about a woman who's been trying to reach the target of her love and wondering like a green-eyed monster about any particular competition the guy might be with. There is an undercurrent in the melody that reminds me of "I Only Want to Be with You" by Dusty Springfield.


"Kanashimi yo Konnichiwa"(悲しみよこんにちは...It's Too Sad Saying Hello)is one of the few tracks that wasn't created by Tomita. Instead, it's Ryohei Yamanashi(山梨良平), who also has some of his own stuff on the blog, behind words and music and chorus. This is quite a sweet pop tune that would probably have it into some aidoru's discography if Tomita hadn't decided to record it herself.


"Shuumatsu no Etranger"(週末のエトランゼ...Weekend Stranger)starts out with a keyboard riff that also had me thinking of a song by Supertramp from the 1970s. This one has a slightly harder and more urgent edge and perhaps there's even something rather ominous as Tomita sings about a young woman who may have been literally swept off her feet by a fellow at what seems like a masquerade party. The lady is thinking whether this is a good or bad thing although it looks like the guy has already poured her into his Ferrari after one too many drinks. Any of you City Pop bass addicts may appreciate Yasuo Tomikura's licks here.


The re-release of "DEUX" has included three bonus tracks of which one is "Cassiopeia no Futari"(カシオペアのふたり...Cassiopeia Couple), Tomita's November 1982 5th single. A ballad of longing by Tomita with Mizutani once again handling the arrangement, there is that thumpy synth and overall feeling of pining for love overseas. Plus the keyboard and accordion work has me thinking dark castles and French cliffs.


Now that I've been going through the songs one by one via YouTube, I'm starting to get a handle on them and getting a better appreciation for them, which has been something that I've cherished from working on the blog. As for "DEUX", this was Tomita's highest album on Oricon, getting up to No. 48.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Kirinji -- Sweet Soul e.p.(スウィートソウル)


Ahhh....memories of my first meal during my trip back to Tokyo in late 2017. I didn't go to any fancy restaurant, not even a Yayoi-ken or a McDonalds. Just dropped in at the local konbini across from the R&B Hotel in Otsuka and picked up a glorious bento and a carton of Lipton Milk Tea. That helped take the edge off the usual arduous flight.


The cover for Kirinji's(キリンジ)March 2003 single e.p. has that image of a Kirinji convenience store at night, and that rather reminded me of that oasis in the form of a midnight 7-11 or Lawsons or am/pm (more poignant now since perhaps a good number of them may no longer go 24 hours) to grab a bite to eat. Plus, the music for the title track "Sweet Soul", created by Kirinji songwriter Takaki Horigome(堀込高樹)had me experiencing the quiet joy of munching down on my karaage bento in my hotel room while drinking in the milk tea. Maybe it should have been made into a commercial song for one of the convenience store chains.


And yet, "Sweet Soul" has nothing to do with karaage or milk tea but is about a young couple one night realizing that there is plenty of love between them. The music by Horigome is so mellow and romantic that it can bring listeners to tears, and there is that feeling of contemplative Beatles in there. And what can I say about that instrumental bridge near the end?


Another song from "Sweet Soul" is "Ai no Coda"(愛のcoda...Love Coda)which brought back some of the memories of some of the Latin-tinged urban contemporary side of J-Pop from the early part of the 2000s. I couldn't confirm it but I bet Tomita Lab(富田ラボ)may have had something to do with "Ai no Coda" since the arrangement sounds so much like his work (and in fact, he did...he produced the e.p.). From listening to the song, it sounds as if that young couple from "Sweet Soul" are now taking a whirlwind date around Tokyo.


"Sweet Soul" managed to reach No. 48 on Oricon. As much as I adore Kirinji's catchy spacey dance-pop songs recently such as "Jikan ga nai"(時間がない)and "Killer Tune Kills Me", there is also something wonderful about Horigome's love ballads from early in the band's career. I read a comment for one of Tatsuro Yamashita's(山下達郎)songs on YouTube in which the person marveled whether Tats has actually ever made a bad song, and I do love my Tats. However, I've also gotta add that I'm starting to wonder the same about Horigome. In any case, I'm now having to think seriously about picking up both "Sweet Soul" and the album that has the two recent singles.

Kyozo Nishioka -- Puka Puka(プカプカ)


Slightly over a month ago, I wrote about the late folk singer-songwriter Kyozo Nishioka(西岡恭蔵)and his "Umi Houzuki Fuki"(海ほうずき吹き)from 1974.


Well, for this nice and lazy Saturday, I've found another earlier song by Nishioka called "Puka Puka" (Puffing Away). This one was his debut single from July 1972 and it was also included in his debut album "Dylan nite"(ディランにて...At Dylan's)released on the same day.

With a relaxing and catchy melody, the song is about a man whose girlfriend is incorrigible when it comes to her vices which include smoking and gambling but still probably loves her all the same and forever. She is a vice that he can't give up.


Just the tonic that I need to chill out before I get ready for the next lesson with my student later on tonight.

Yellow Magic Orchestra -- Shadows on the Ground


Yup, sure wasn't expecting to see this scene until late December or early January at the earliest. But indeed, this was just some days ago on November 12th. Still, considering that the annual Santa Claus Parade is tomorrow and that it heralds the unofficial start to the Xmas season here in Toronto, I guess this would be the desired state (maybe some more snow coming here this coming Monday).


Just the atmosphere for this particular song by Yellow Magic Orchestra, "Shadows on the Ground" from their December 1983 album, "Service". Heck, even the month of November is given a shout out right from the get-go as (who I assume is) drummer Yukihiro Takahashi(高橋幸宏)sings about falling head-over-heels for a woman and perhaps heading for some uncertain future. The shadows are indeed getting longer on the pavement here.

Interesting notes from the J-Wiki article for "Service" when it comes to this particular track which was created by Takahashi and keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto(坂本龍一)with Peter Barakan helping out the all-English lyrics. Apparently, according to bassist Haruomi Hosono(細野晴臣), he was once told that "Shadows on the Ground" was reminiscent of Steely Dan's material. Not quite sure on that myself since I've been a fan of that band in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and I quite can't hear any Dan in there. Then one line down, Sakamoto himself conceded that there may have been a bit of the late German arranger-composer Claus Ogerman's influence circa late 70s getting mixed in. But I had never heard of Ogerman until I started thinking about writing this article, so if anyone else has better insights about him and his connection with "Shadows on the Ground", by all means, let me know. BTW, you can take a listen to the Miku Hatsune(初音ミク)cover below.


For me, the first time I heard "Shadows on the Ground" was through YMO's performance in concert, and my initial impression was how rich and melodic it sounded when compared to some of the harder techno the guys were playing during that set. I guess, in a way, it reminded me of the earlier YMO discography when Takahashi, Sakamoto and Hosono were filtering a few of those older genres such as surf rock and exotica through the computer filters.

There's something slightly tropical nightclub and AOR about this one, and whenever I hear it now, I can't help but feel that this could have been included in the soundtrack for either "Ocean's Eleven" or "Ocean's Twelve" by Steven Soderbergh considering the mix of songs that he had included on those soundtracks.

As for "Service", YMO's 8th album managed to peak at No. 5 on Oricon. It also includes the poignant "Perspective".

Friday, November 15, 2019

Amy -- Party Night


It won't be too long before the year-end season of parties takes place in Japan. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them take place in the next couple of weeks at some izakaya or high-priced restaurant. Of course, over here, we've got the round of Xmas parties and then New Year's Eve parties to look forward to (or not). I don't really go to a lot of those anymore but there is the one with the anime buddy and our other friends which will probably be happening in the first half of December. A good time is usually had by all but we certainly don't do the hashigo (barhopping) anymore; a little too old on that front now.


Earlier in the year, I mentioned about this City Pop singer who may be even more mysterious than Takako Mamiya(間宮貴子)in terms of her current whereabouts. This would be Amy(エイミー)...just the single name known...who may have only put out one album and a couple of singles all in 1983. Idol.ne.jp mentions her lone album "Amy" and says that it is her first album, hinting that there may have been a follow-up effort but I have yet to come across such a second album.

In any case, here is another track from "Amy", and that is "Party Night", a perfectly good title for a song that straddles the line between AOR and City Pop. Written by Naoko Nishio(西尾尚子)and composed by singer-songwriter Yoichi Takizawa(滝沢洋一)with arrangement by Masaki Matsubara(松原正樹), "Party Night" sounds more like a daytime tune but I'll let that observation go since I do like those horns and that jazzy guitar. The song was also the B-side to Amy's 2nd single "Mr. Cool", a song which is also included on the album.

Let's see whether there is a remastered version of "Amy" out there for Xmas.

Misato Watanabe -- Kanashii ne(悲しいね)


Well, it's amazing how a music video can change a viewer's perception on what a song really means.


Here I was looking at the concert version down below of Misato Watanabe's(渡辺美里)9th single "Kanashii ne" (Sad, Isn't It?) from December 1987. As I was listening to this song that I hadn't heard all that much and taking a look at the lyrics by Watanabe herself, I was assuming that this was another ballad about how parting is such sweet sorrow for a romantic couple.

Well, the above official music video for the pretty and melancholy "Kanashii ne" (if you just want to get to the song, go forward to around the 2:07 mark) paints the story in a different light. As things begin with a poor pencil getting kicked down to the ground and then rescued by college student Misato, I realized that the song could be used as a message about things that used to get a lot of love eventually being abandoned to the cruel elements, and by the last half, there's even a rather stark image of mass pollution. The images and song even had me remembering one of the plots in the "Toy Story" franchise.

"Kanashii ne" was composed by Tetsuya Komuro(小室哲哉)and it peaked at No. 2 on Oricon. Incidentally, the song was also part of Watanabe's 4th album "ribbon" released in May 1988 which hit No. 1 and ended up as the 3rd-ranked album for that year.

I've currently got a television right behind me that started its life when Ronald Reagan was still President of the United States. It died quietly one day a few weeks ago. It lived a good life but after watching the music video, I'm kinda wondering what to do with it now, outside of kicking it to that part of the parking lot for larger electronics garbage.


Issei Okamoto -- Moonlight Singing(ムーンライト・シンキィング)


Nope, sorry...not much of a moon picture but that's the best that I could do.

(8:07)

I found this one on the YouTube channel for Kimi no Station recently, and it's the July 1978 debut album for the current composer Akira Okamoto(岡本朗), "Moonlight Singing". Back then, he was known as Issei Okamoto(岡本一生), hailing from the city of Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture. From the tracks that I've listened to so far, it looks like he was going for some of the more modern genres of the time such as New Music, AOR and City Pop.

His first single, also titled "Moonlight Singing", had come out a couple of months earlier in May. This is more of the classy-night-on-Long-Island type of jazz...pretty nice for a quiet Friday evening, and I couldn't help but feel that there was something (not exact, though) of the Japanese version of Bobby Caldwell in Okamoto's delivery. Methinks that if he had actually performed this on some sort of variety show, he would have been in black tie and tails with a dance partner on stage....rather a different image than the one shown on the cover for the album.

Up to this point, according to his J-Wiki profile, he's released 3 singles and 3 albums. As a composer under both of his names, he's provided music for a number of other artists such as Hiromi Ohta(太田裕美), Miki Matsubara(松原みき)and Hideki Saijo(西城秀樹).

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Miyoko Yoshimoto -- Wanna Catch


Just on the heels of writing an article about a singer with the initials of M.Y., I've suddenly done a sharp veer to another different singer from the 1980s who shares those same initials. This would be 80s aidoru Miyoko Yoshimoto(芳本美代子).

(28:09)

And the reason that I suddenly decided to put up one of her songs onto the blog is that as I was listening to New J Channel's broadcast, a Yoshimoto song came on board. Now, as I've mentioned before in the only other article on her, I barely have any read on her discography. I'd only known her as the typically snaggle-toothed aidoru

But then this song by Yoshimoto made its appearance that caught me off-guard. It was actually very City Pop soulful. "WAIT!!", I went, "This is the aidoru Miyoko Yoshimoto, ain't it?" Yup, the cover was for her July 1987 album "I'm The One" and the final track "Wanna Catch" was indeed included, and I've already listened to it four times now as I write this. I had no idea that Yoshimoto could sing this well. In fact, I was reluctant to put on an aidoru tag on this one since "Wanna Catch" doesn't sound anything like an aidoru tune but that's how she's been categorized during her singing career, so it's in the Labels section. But I've definitely put on the City Pop tag, too.

"Wanna Catch" is definitely something very downtown Tokyo with all of the swagger of folks painting the town red on a Friday night. Written by Masami Tozawa(戸沢暢美)and composed by Etsuko Yamakawa(山川恵津子), the song comes off as a tune that could easily be performed by Miho Nakayama(中山美穂), who I thought was the late 80s aidoru for urban contemporary dance-pop, or even by City Pop chanteuse Junko Yagami(八神純子). However, it's indeed Yoshimoto handling the reins with rather good aplomb, may I add. A very pleasant surprise tonight.

Mioko Yamaguchi -- FLOMA


Well, let me tell you a story about getting Mioko Yamaguchi's(山口美央子)latest album "FLOMA" which was released back in July this year. Toshi from the LOGIC STORE was kind enough in sending it over to me via registered mail with a tracking number about a month ago. Usually that would mean I would be able to see its progress online and in all likelihood, it would arrive about a week after posting from Japan.

Unfortunately this time, that wouldn't quite be the case. I was able to find out that it did leave Japan but after that for the next few weeks, there would be nothing. And at one point, I had to tell Toshi that there was a good chance that it got lost somewhere in time and space...perhaps getting stuck in a machine out in Mississauga. But there was a surprisingly happy ending in that on Sunday while I was out with my anime buddy, the postman actually dropped by and left the package. It must have been a rather sheepish error since I hardly ever hear of Canada Post making Sunday deliveries. In any case, I told Toshi the good news and I had my first crack at "FLOMA" last night.

Mind you, back when "FLOMA" had been in limbo somewhere, I felt rather compelled to jump the gun and write about one of the tracks that got re-recorded for this new album.


"FLOMA" is an album of self-covers by Yamaguchi and according to the J-Wiki article on her, three songs each from her first three albums, "Yume Hiko"(夢飛行), "Nirvana" and "Tsukihime"(月姫)were given new arrangements. Plus, three bonus tracks have been added which are Yamaguchi's own takes on songs that she had originally provided other singers.

One of the very first songs that had gotten me hooked on the oeuvre of Yamaguchi was "Satemo Appare Yume Zakura"(さても天晴れ 夢桜)from her 3rd album, "Tsukihime" (1983). And here it is in "FLOMA" as well, under a different arrangement no less bouncy than the original and perhaps a bit more mesmerizing for me due to some more sound effects including a slightly Gatling gun version of a koto. Plus, near the end, there is some cool rumbling which sounds like a massive wave of horses.


"O-Matsuri"(お祭り), originally from the first album "Yume Hiko" (1980), was this most appealing technopop tune for a summer festival that had me thinking of androids in yukata trying to scoop up goldfish and buying yakitori skewers (y'know it could happen in the next couple of centuries). The new version in "FLOMA" starts off faster and more intense (George Lucas would love this version) with a matsuri band on Red Bull, and my compliments especially go to the taiko drummer. This is no longer the congenial walk on the festival streets...everyone's gotten involved in a mass dance to this song!


I remember "Itsumo Takaramono"(いつも宝物)as this very cheerful and punchy New Wave track from Yamaguchi's 2nd album "Nirvana"(1981). The Takarajima version as stated in the new album isn't quite New Wave like The Buggles; in fact, I would say that it kinda tilts toward either Yellow Magic Orchestra or even PSY-S. Again, my compliments this time toward the relentless beats propelling things along.


My final track here is "Itsuka Yurarete Tooi Kuni"(いつかゆられて遠い国), a jovial track from "Yume Hiko" that seems to have feet in both the City Pop and technopop fields. The new take launches with some nifty beats and is now firmly planted in synth territory. Strangely enough, I feel like that this version deserves a conga line on a holodeck somewhere.

As I mentioned above, there are three additional tracks of Yamaguchi covering songs that were originally performed by other artists. I can take care of one of them immediately but first I actually want to include that original singer since that she and that particular song haven't been brought onto the blog as of yet. But overall, I'm glad that "FLOMA" finally made it to me after what could have been an odyssey throughout my home and native land.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

face to ace -- Kaleido-Parade


All the way back in March 2013, nikala had provided the heretofore only article on eclectic music duo face to ace. From what I heard in my fellow writer's article, my feeling was that face to ace's mix of synths and pop was quite unique even among the various groups that we've covered in the blog such as Yellow Magic Orchestra and PSY-S. I can't speak for nikala but my take on the music by ACE and Kurage Honda(本田海月)is that of a form of synthpop and indies music. The rhythms they've come up with have been quite percolating and bouncy, and it's a pity that their profile hasn't been all that high since they started up in 2001.


Allow me to introduce you to "Kaleido-Parade", face to ace's 6th single from June 2004 with ACE providing the lyrics while Honda took care of the music. As expected, there is that irresistible rhythm and a feeling that there really is a parade (in Aberdeen?) going on in the song. Even with the technology in there, I can still hear that piano keeping the beat and also keeping things grounded. This would actually make for a nice driving song on the car stereo while taking that ride in the countryside.

"Kaleido-Parade" was also included in face to ace's 3rd album "Fiesta" released in January 2005. So far, I've only heard their pop stuff, but apparently the duo has also been categorized as an AOR and rock act, so I wouldn't mind giving an ear to some of their tunes from those genres as well.

Kei Ishiguro -- Wasureyuki(忘れ雪)


Now the above was just a first dusting of snow back on the 7th. A couple of days ago on the 11th, Toronto and the rest of Southern Ontario got smacked really hard with several centimetres. It's not every year we get hit with a snowstorm this early in November and so it's probably not all that surprising that there are a number of folks who are already in mid-January mode and grumbling for all this snow to go away. Can't quite blame them.


Therefore, it's kinda providential that I was able to pick this one song from the backlog list titled "Wasureyuki" (Snow to Forget) by singer/actress Kei Ishiguro(石黒ケイ). A track from her 1978 debut album "Monogatari"(ものがたり...Stories), "Wasureyuki" has that rhythm reminiscent of a waltz and a prima donna ballerina dancing about in some snow-covered forest. There's something rather folksy about it but I think in the end, it's more about the kayo pop. Songwriting vets Takashi Matsumoto and Kyohei Tsutsumi(松本隆・筒美京平)were responsible here.

Ishiguro herself hails from Chigasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture, and has released a total of 12 singles and 14 albums up to 2016, although she took a long break between 1989 and 2005. The Discogs description of "Monogatari" describes it as a mix of funk/soul, blues and pop. I've mentioned that "Wasureyuki" is a pop tune so I'd be interested in hearing some of those other genres through the album.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Time Five -- Silent Night


Now to be up front about this, this has nothing to do with one of the most famous English-language Xmas carols.

Secondly, I couldn't find all that much about this vocal group Time Five(タイム・ファイブ), but I've seen their name in a number of liner notes for other singers over the years so I've at least been aware of them as a solid backup chorus. What I could find out was that this quintet of male singers has been around since 1968 without a single change in their lineup. They all came out of the music department at Doshisha University where they were once known as the Modern Hula Hawaiians, perhaps after winning a university championship for singing a song by the chorus group Invitations that had become a hit in the Aloha State.

Their website doesn't seem to have a complete list of their discography but in 1979, Time Five released the album "Gentle Breeze" and on it was "Silent Night". Not a Yuletide song, but a smart and smoky urban tune which needs to have a cigarette in there to add to the atmosphere, it's one of those songs that has me reminded of some of the early 1970s soul. As well, the song itself could wear a trench coat and walk the lonely downtown streets of the night.

The never-changing lineup is Yasuo Tai(田井康夫), Shizuo Noguchi(野口鎮雄), Sadaaki Teshigawara(勅使河原貞昭), Haruya Yoshimura(吉村晴哉) and Kohey Sugie(杉江浩平). Now, there are a number of different readings for at least some of the names listed here so if any of you Time Five fans see an incorrectly depicted name, please let me know ASAP.

November 13, 2019: Now corrected.

Ikuzo Yoshi -- Kaikyo(海峡)


Man, sometimes I think that the Tsugaru Strait between the main island of Honshu and the northern island of Hokkaido probably has to be heavily monitored since according to some kayo, it's the place that seems to attract a lot of very sad and heartbroken souls. Arguably the most famous ballad depicting this waterway is Sayuri Ishikawa's(石川さゆり)classic "Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyu Geshiki" (津軽海峡・冬景色)from 1977.

Recently, though, I found out that veteran enka singer-songwriter Ikuzo Yoshi(吉幾三)had also created his own lovelorn tribute to the Tsugaru Strait through his contribution of "Kaikyo" (The Strait) as his 13th single in May 1987. With a woman's wailing voice as harrowing as a stiff cold wind, Yoshi also explains his own tale of woe, hoping beyond hope that a love can be salvaged but perhaps knowing in his heart that it's far too late.

I don't know how "Kaikyo" did on Oricon but it followed Yoshi's huge hit of "Yukiguni"(雪国)from the previous year, and perhaps not surprisingly, there are a few similarities between the two songs.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Nana Mizuki & Inori Minase -- Gin no Spoon ~ Blend of Memory(銀のスプーン)


A nice little treat that I got during last night's usual anime-&-food session was seeing this September's OVA of "Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?"(ご注文はうさぎですか?...Is The Order A Rabbit?), titled "Sing For You". I will always welcome the oh-so-mellow anime franchise of girls running cafes, and the 30-or-so (?) minute special dealt with the usually stoic and level-headed Chino Kafu(香風智乃)played by Inori Minase(水瀬いのり)blowing a gasket over the fact that she has to do a solo part in her school's chorus performance. Of course, the rest of the gang rush over to help out and get her over the hump of her stage fright to varying levels of humour.


During those 30 minutes, "GochiUsa" fans finally got one mystery resolved to a certain extent: that of Chino's mother who had passed away some years before the start of the series. Apparently, her name was Saki(香風サキ)and she was a regular singer at Rabbit House, with her husband and Chino's father, Takahiro(香風タカヒロ), and even current Rabbit House barista Rize's father backing Saki on instruments.


As soon as I heard Saki sing in the OAV, I knew it was Nana Mizuki(水樹奈々)right away. Her "Gin no Spoon ~ Blend of Memory" (Silver Spoon) is a good ol' jazz waltz which I could actually imagine being played during some sort of live performance in a club somewhere.


However, the more adorable and heartwarming pop version is the duet of "Gin no Spoon" between Mizuki and Inase. Finally, mother and daughter are together...may have brought a tear to the eye in many a fan. Created by lyricist/singer Junko Tsuji(辻純更)and composer/keyboardist Ruka Kawada(川田瑠夏), the arrangement matches the overall feeling of the music that has been invested into "GochiUsa" all these years, that sunny, optimistic and wistful atmosphere (almost sounds like a swinging 1960s pop song) that seems to inhabit the unnamed town/small city with a European style where all the girls, cafes and rabbits live.

Definitely looking forward to Season 3!

EPO -- Escape (エスケイプ)


Last night with my anime buddy, I was lucky to have a pretty nice dinner at a restaurant called Yang's Braised Chicken Rice near his place. Tucked into a nice hot pot of stewed chicken with peppers and mushrooms and some zesty and spicy sauce. On top of a bowl of hot rice, it was absolutely perfect!

I say this now because my city is being walloped with several centimetres of snow at this moment. This is one of the reasons that I'm happy that I work at home and my sympathies go out to all of the commuters trying to get back home. By tomorrow morning, there ought to be as much as 17 centimetres or about 6 inches of the white stuff on the ground. I would think that Yang's should be having a sizable lineup right out the door at this moment for those who desire to get something tasty and hot in their stomachs.


"Escape" may truly be the appropriate tune for this article then since I'm sure that a lot of the folks getting home tonight are dreaming of making their escape to warmer and sunnier climes. I have a number of EPO's albums already but her September 1981 "JOEPO" isn't one of them quite yet. "Escape" is one of the tracks written and composed by the ever-jaunty EPO.

Therefore, I never got to hear this song until today. And boy, it's a winner....so very EPO-esque! Well, when I think of it, I get reminded of Hall & Oates from that time period as well as David Foster's old duo, Airplay. That relentless piano tapping and the guitar solo are the things that do it for me. Now, I gotta make a list for Xmas!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Mayumi Shinozuka -- Taiyo no Kakera(太陽のかけら)


Mayumi Shinozuka(篠塚満由美)...a name that I've read through the past few years doing this blog but only as a lyricist, apparently for a lot of aidoru according to her J-Wiki profile. She's been represented here, too, in creating songs for Iyo Matsumoto(松本伊代)and Akina Nakamori(中森明菜).

However, she did start out as a singer herself when she made the most of her chances on the NTV show "Star wa Tanjo!"(スター誕生!...A Star is Born!)in 1974. Starting her career with her name written in hiragana(しのづかまゆみ), after her first few singles, she took a year to belong to a band Mommy & Oldies Family Band(マミー&オールディーズファミリーバンド)in 1977 before going back to the hiragana name for one single, and then finally reverting to her kanji name for the last few singles going into the 1980s.

That final single released in July 1981 was "Taiyo no Kakera" (Shards of the Sun). Written by Shinozuka and composed by Toshio Kamei(亀井登志夫)of the band NASA, that certain guitar riff at the beginning and end of the song had me first thinking whether this would be a City Pop (or an ELO) tune, but the rest of "Taiyo no Kakera" basically had me feeling that this had more of that 50s rock n' roll sound that had been popular at the time through acts such as The Checkers(チェッカーズ)and The Venus. The arrangement was handled by Akira Inoue(井上鑑), and the song actually comes across as something that would have been ideal for the early Akina-chan.

Speaking of the past, Shinozuka's vocals reminded me to a certain degree of The Peanuts(ザ・ピーナッツ), and in fact, although the singer never got any hits, she has become famous as an impressionist of other singers such as Kye Eunsook(桂銀淑)and one of The Peanuts.


Fantastic Plastic Machine -- Beautiful Days


After a weird and not particularly pleasant week, I'm happy to relax a bit and blow off some steam. This is somewhat ironic since today it seems as if a telecommunications glitch managed to leave a wide swath of houses without TV or Internet across Southern Ontario (at least) for a few hours (my problem over the past week) and yet, my network has been holding the fort (knocking furiously on wood). I'm not an especially optimistic person by nature so I have been glaring at the new modem and receiver whenever I get a chance to ensure that they comply with my wishes.


Hopefully, many beautiful days are on their way, despite the threatening weather outside. Strangely enough, here is "Beautiful Days" by that club-mastering clone of mine, Tomoyuki Tanaka(田中知之), aka Fantastic Plastic Machine.

One of the tracks on his January 2001 album "beautiful.", "Beautiful Days" was written by FPM and composed by him and Dan Miyakawa. Considering that these are now the late stages of 2019, it's very nostalgic hearing even these sunny and comforting groovy beats while Haven L. Clayborne and Yoshie Nakano(中納良恵)from Ego-Wrappin' croon about the wistful dreams and hopes of the past versus the present. Nice music video as well about a couple of kids enjoying their suburban weekend. Meanwhile, FPM is looking over them like a distant babysitter.

If you're seeking to listen to something happy and calming but with some kick, here you go.


Mioko Yamaguchi -- Yume Hiko(夢飛行)


Let's see...at the beginning of the 1980s, there were at least a few female singers who embraced their technopop, and each with their own styles. I saw Akiko Yano(矢野顕子)taking a New Wave direction and then there was Taeko Ohnuki(大貫妙子)who injected her form of French-ness into the proceedings. Most recently, I found about singer-songwriter Mioko Yamaguchi(山口美央子)who took a somewhat more ethereal and fantastical Japanese approach.


Back in February 2018, I wrote my article on Yamaguchi's November 1980 debut album "Yume Hiko" (Dream Flight) and though I gave my thoughts on a few of the tracks, I neglected to cover the title track itself. Well, I gave myself a Gibbs slap and I'm getting on with redemption.

The title track "Yume Hiko" was actually Yamaguchi's debut single and not "Arabian Rhapsody"(アラビアン・ラプソディー)as I had erroneously written in the original article (another Gibbs slap and since corrected). Writing, composing and arranging it, the technopop is indeed real but as I mentioned above, there is also that feeling of venturing back into the Edo era a few hundred years ago. The first 50 seconds sound like an uncertain walk in a fogbound bamboo wood trying to find a village, and then when the synths roar in, the village is indeed found as a fascinating bustle of merchants and craftsmen going about their everyday business while the visitors stare with a mix of elation and surprise. Yes, I realize...a tad florid in my description.


Now, one of the other reasons that I decided to put up "Yume Hiko" the song today was that I also wanted to feature its self-cover by Yamaguchi in her most recent album "FLOMA" which had been released earlier this summer. Her 5th album consists of cover versions of songs from her first three albums in the 1980s and bonus tracks which are covers of other singers' tunes.

The new version of "Yume Hiko" sounds even more ethereal and ominous but noble as if the original was the main theme song for a movie and the new take was created during a scene of crisis before the ultimate resolution for the heroes. It'll be interesting to try out some of the other tracks on "FLOMA".

Friday, November 8, 2019

Tomoko Aran -- Busy City


The way she looks on the cover of her 5th album "Imitation Lonely ~ Tokai wa, Sabishigariya no Omocha Bako"(IMITATION LONELY ―都会は、淋しがりやのオモチャ箱―...The City is the Toy Box for the Lonely)from April 1985, Tomoko Aran(亜蘭知子)reminds me of an old classmate from the 1980s. Go figure!

Anyways the opening track is "Busy City" which actually sounds pretty busy (inclusion of traffic noise helps) especially with that clickety-clackety synth sounding like a teletype printing out some breaking news. However, going into the vocals, Aran seems to create a calm pocket of urban contentedness around her as she sloughs off an errant suitor like dead skin at a spa. With Aran behind the lyrics, Etsuko Yamakawa's(山川恵津子)melody has that feeling of what I've always associated with late 1980s City Pop: champagne synths and even more groove to the bass.

Incidentally, "Imitation Lonely" is the follow-up album to "More Relax" from 1984.

Nana Okada -- Seishun no Sakamichi(青春の坂道)


It was more the concrete sidewalks of youth rather than the hills of youth when I was a teen going to school, but I think that the hills have a more romantic tone, I guess.


I've seen the name Nana Okada(岡田奈々)before but never heard any of her music. Most likely, any lingering knowledge of her must have been through TV retrospectives of the day. Okada was born Hiroko Yai(矢井弘子)in 1959 in Gifu Prefecture. Becoming the second champion on the talent show "Anata wo Star ni!"(あなたをスターに!...You're A Star!)as a mid-teen in the mid-1970s, she made her debut as an aidoru in May 1975 with "Hitorigoto"(ひとりごと...Monologue).

However, her biggest hit came with her March 1976 4th single "Seishun no Sakamichi" (Hills of Youth) whose genesis came about from a contest via Myojo magazine in which people were invited to send in any lyrics for a potential song. Aiko Nakaji(中司愛子)was the winner apparently and professional lyricist Takashi Matsumoto(松本隆)shaped them into the official words for "Seishun no Sakamichi", a jaunty tune created by Koichi Morita(森田公一)and arranged by Ichizo Seo(瀬尾一三).


The song was also used in an episode of an NTV drama that had Okada in the cast, "Ore-tachi no Tabi"(俺たちの旅...Our Travels). "Seishun no Sakamichi" became the singer/actress' signature song (according to the Wikipedia article on Okada) as it peaked at No. 23, and it became a part of her 3rd album "Akushu Shiyouyo"(握手しようよ...Let's Shake Hands)which was released in August 1976.

While Okada's singing career tapered off in the mid-1980s, she has continued acting right to the present day.

Pal -- Please Catch Me


I've been enjoying a number of the videos from the YouTube channel, Kimi no Station: The Home of City Pop over the past several months, and I found this interesting album by a vocal group called Pal. I don't know long the band had been around but at least it's been before 1978 since the original vocalist Yuji Ozeki(尾関裕司)left Pal then with singer-songwriter Masahito Arai(新井正人)taking over, according to the description on Kimi no Station's video.

In 1980, Pal released the album "Catch Me" and the first track is "Please Catch Me" (I guess they were being very Canadian). According to the JASRAC database, it was written and composed by Takaki Funabashi(船橋孝樹); I've never heard of this person before so perhaps he may have been part of the band. In any case, from just this song, I get the impression that the sound of the band is a mix between Off Course and The Doobie Brothers. It's summery AOR with a hint of folk and as refreshing as a mint julep.

According to the same source, Pal finally broke up in 1982 with Arai pursuing a solo career. Now as I listen to the second track, "Satin Doll Night", I'm considering whether I can track this gem of an album down.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Naomi Sugimura -- Kinou ni Sayonara(昨日にさよなら)


This was basically the sight that greeted me this morning after I decided to go out and get the newspaper. Yup, Toronto got its first somewhat major snowfall last night and we're getting some more of the white stuff as I type this. So, I gather that this is truly goodbye to summer.


Another hackneyed segue over to the title of this song "Kinou ni Sayonara" (Goodbye to Yesterday) then. This was sung as Naomi Sugimura's(杉村尚美)B-side to her January 1981 debut single "Sunset Memory"(サンセット・メモリー). In comparison to the A-side though, "Kinou ni Sayonara" takes the singer and we listeners a little closer to the city although I really couldn't definitively say that this is a truly City Pop tune (although I've thrown the category in).

What kinda gets the music over the line into City Pop territory is the electric guitar which reminds me a lot of some Bee Gees songs for some reason. I couldn't find out who was on the instrument, but I wonder whether it was someone like Makoto Matsushita(松下誠)or Fujimal Yoshino(吉野藤丸). In any case, the same duo behind "Sunset Memory" also took care of "Kinou ni Sayonara", lyricist Machiko Ryu(竜真知子)and composer Toshiyuki Kimori(木森敏之). For some reason, I never put in any rankings for the single in its writeup (perhaps they hadn't been put in when I first wrote about "Sunset Memory") so I'd just like to say that it was a hit at No. 4 on Oricon and it ended up as the 27th-ranked single for 1981, selling more than 460,000 records, her biggest seller.

Soichi Noriki -- Noriki (Follow-Up)


Almost 18 months ago, I wrote an article on pianist, composer and arranger Soichi Noriki's(野力奏一)1983 debut album "Noriki" with its goodly rounds of fusion and AOR, so I decided to try wrapping up the story with any remaining tracks. Strangely enough, those tracks are right in the middle of the lineup.


"Black Duck" must have had this waterfowl strutting like a peacock instead of waddling about. It's happy and funky and cool, and a lot of this Noriki piece reminds me of folks such as Rod Temperton and Quincy Jones. Haruo Sakai's(酒井春雄)saxophone does a good part of the heavy lifting here, but I love those horns, too. My whole image of the song is some very confident person in the 1970s walking the walk and talking the talk in a big city neighbourhood.


One of the electric guitarists on the "Noriki" project, Koji Nakai(中井浩二), helped Noriki arrange "Cozy's Melody", and I'm fairly certain that the title had been created for Koji himself. This is indeed a song ready for orange mimosas, beach umbrellas and lounge chairs. In addition, despite the probability that "Cozy's Melody" was indeed named more after the co-arranger, it truly is a cozy melody although Sakai and Nakai are having a friendly battle of the instruments somewhere around the middle.


I couldn't help but hear some Huey Lewis & The News as I listened to "Rag Box", an energetically-paced track that has decided to put the musicians through their paces. Again, I love the horns here and it sounds like Noriki was having the time of his life on those keyboards during recording. Not sure if the title was meant to hint at a modern tribute to ragtime music but it certainly goes at warp speed. Even Masayoshi Imaizumi(今泉正義)gets some notable licks in on the drums.


The final song for this article thus completing the album is "Ballade" is one of the two contemplative tracks along with the final track which was covered in the original article, "Go Over The Hill". The difference between the two, though, is that while "Go Over The Hill" has got that warmth of family and friends getting together around the BBQ, "Ballade" seems to hint more at someone preferring to be by himself/herself nursing a drink while at a bar with Noriki himself on duty at the piano.

I'll end the article here the same way that I did in the original article. "Noriki" is definitely more than worth the yen that I paid for it.

GUMI -- little bunny


It's been a few weeks now since the zany "Joshikousei no Mudazukai"(女子高生の無駄づかい...Wasteful Days of High School Girls)finished up its episodes (hoping for a Season 2), and for the most part, Baka, Wota and Robo and the rest of their fellow schoolmates would provide proof why they should be initially monitored once they enter adult society.


Akane "Wota" Kikuchi(菊池"ヲタ" 茜)as played by Haruka Tomatsu(戸松遥)was usually the most normal of the three main characters, but even she had her moments.


The penultimate episode, "Yume"(夢...Dreams), though, took on a more poignant tone which contrasted greatly with the nuttiness seen in the other shows. It all involved Wota falling for the words and music of the secretive TeishotokuP (perhaps even for the man himself), a producer of Vocaloid songs. The lass finally got the long-desired opportunity to meet her hero at some sort of autograph session...only to find out that TeishotokuP(低所得P)was none other than Masataka "Waseda" Sawatari(佐渡 "ワセダ" 正敬), her stoic and long-suffering homeroom teacher with a self-admitted attraction for university students. Wota's shock was real.


Thing is, TeishotokuP is a real Vocaloid song producer with his own YouTube channel, and Waseda-sensei, according to TV Tropes, has a character which consists of a mix of "Joshikousei" author Bino's(ビーノ)buddy's personality and the "real" personality of TeishotokuP (not sure why there were quotations around real at TV Tropes). It's his actual song, "little bunny" which gets featured in "Yume", the original version and the one sung by Wota herself in her bedroom.

One small thing that I've appreciated in the past number of years watching anime is whenever a pretty good insert song comes out of nowhere to be played in an episode. "little bunny" as performed by Vocaloid GUMI is a surprisingly heartwarming pop/rock ballad for a tune created from synths and a computer vocal program, and the music video above has that poignancy in spades with that young melancholy lass walking the streets one winter night trying to figure things out. She could easily be replaced by Wota attempting to get back on balance after her discovery of TeishotokuP's true identity.

I'd assumed that this would be my first article on GUMI. However, I was wrong here since she's already gotten at least one article, thanks to her being the original singer for "Kokoro Palette" (ココロ*パレット) which would later be used as an insert song for another anime that I enjoyed in the past, "Kono Bijutsu-bu ni wa Mondai ga aru!" (この美術部には問題がある!). That would be another show that I wouldn't mind seeing return.