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, January 25, 2019

SAKA-SAMA -- Owari kara(終わりから)

Over the past few years, I've been indebted to contributors such as Marcos V. and Joana since they bring over their knowledge on the current aidoru groups and I'm not just talking about AKB48 and their sister groups. I've gotten to know a bit more about some of the more different outfits such as BiS and Especia.

Well, in addition to my browsings on YouTube and the tips that I get from contributors and commenters alike, I've recently read a Twitter tweet from a fellow named Brian Walker who was going gangbusters about this aidoru group called SAKA-SAMA. This is a team currently consisting of seven members: Dr. Mahirun(Dr.まひるん), Kokone Suzuki(寿々木ここね), Aiuemashiko(あいうえまし子), Miimaimi(ミ米ミ), Maana Seto(瀬戸まーな), Tsutsumi(つつみ) and Tamago Mizuno(水野たまご).

Starting their career in 2016, SAKA-SAMA has come up with three singles, two albums and an analog release, and they've been described as a group of "Lo-Fi Dream Pop Idols". However, according to a couple of executives of the magazine TRASH-UP!! (whose record label TRASH-UP!! RECORDS handles the group), there is no real concept behind SAKA-SAMA as was described in an OTOTOY interview.

Curious, I decided to look up any of their songs on YouTube, and did find one titled "Owari kara"  (Since The End) which was a track from their debut single "Yume no Hate made mo"(夢のはてまでも...Even To The End of the Dream)released in February 2018.

"Owari kara" definitely left an impression on me since it definitely doesn't sound like anything that I would have placed with an aidoru group. Whereas AKB48 is all about the happy-happy-joy-joy and Especia is about some glorious tribute to the 1980s, SAKA-SAMA brings some alternative music at least for this song. I've read that this is dream pop in a couple of sites and there is a certain mesmerizing feeling brought in thanks to the rippling guitars and the near-whispery vocals by the members. But perhaps it's a dream pop of a different sort since I kinda have that template of the genre in the form of Ramjet Pulley's "Overjoyed". In any case, I do like the relentless guitars since they remind me of some of the work by New Order. Music and lyrics are by kano and the story given by SAKA-SAMA here is that it seems to be about the passage of the seasons between summer and fall although this could be more of a metaphor for something else like the end of a romance.

As for the music video, when the single was released, it was still just a foursome with Suzuki, the Doctor, Aiuemashiko and now-former member Ene Nekota(猫田えね). Not sure but I think it was filmed next to the Sumida River in Tokyo.

I also found a review of the entire album by Garry at "IDOL IS SHIT" and I think his views are more insightful than my own ramblings since I'm still a newbie to the newer aidoru regime.

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