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, June 1, 2019

Makoto Kawamoto -- Sakura(桜)

Still love this anime by the dickens! "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun"(月刊少女野崎くん...Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun)is still one of the more hilarious shows that I've been presented by my anime buddy and I'm still holding out some hope that a second season may make its presence known. In the video of the debut episode above, there is a scene at about 1:58 where Chiyo Sakura wages an internal war about her confession of love to the titular and dense Nozaki-kun.

It was that scene that came to mind while listening to Makoto Kawamoto's(川本真琴)4th single, coincidentally called "Sakura" (Cherry Blossoms). Released in April 1998, Written and composed by the singer, "Sakura" seems to also be about the turmoil of one girl's love for somebody.

A few years ago, I also wrote about Kawamoto's past hit from 1997, "Ni-bun no Ichi" (1/2), and when I compare the two songs, I see a couple of commonalities. One is the high-pitched and fairly fast delivery of her lyrics while the other is her love of repetition. In "Ni-bun no Ichi", it's "Aishiteiru, aishiteiru..." (I love you, I love you) while in "Sakura", it's "Dekinai, dekinai, dekinai" (Can't do it, can't do it, can't do it). The technique probably worked well in terms of recognition; at least, it has worked with me all these years since that is the one lyric that has helped me remember "Sakura".

(from 2:12)

Going back to this song that I used to also hear in heavy rotation on shows like "Music Station" and "Countdown TV" while living in Ichikawa, I realized that Kawamoto was playing some pretty lush piano in the official music video. It almost sounds like something that I've heard on old 50s movies. Perhaps it was meant to reflect a certain idealized version of romance. In any case, it wasn't just Kawamoto getting a lot of presence on the music shows. I remember that it was getting a lot of love on episodes of "Yoru mo Hippare"(夜もヒッパレ), that favourite Saturday-night karaoke variety show on NTV.

Like "Ni-bun no Ichi", "Sakura" also got as high as No. 2 on Oricon, and it was a track on Kawamoto's 2nd album "gobbledygook" from March 2001 which peaked at No. 13.

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