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 15, 2019

Mami Koyama & Columbia Yurikago Kai -- Arale-chan Ondo(アラレちゃん音頭)

Reminiscing over that summer trip to Japan in 1981 with my fellow Japanese Language School graduates, I remember shortly after checking into the Tokyo Prince Hotel near Zojoji Temple going out with the guys for some dinner. We ended up in some small home cooking place near the subway and all squeezed around a slightly rickety wooden table before munching down on some sort of don. On the telly on a corner shelf, there were the ending credits for some anime playing about which had some happy woman with big blonde hair (remember, those were the 80s) dancing ritualistically in a traditional yukata and geta.

Some days later, when we met up with the high school girls at Tezukayama High School in Nara for our 3-day homestay, our host sisters introduced us to the world of "Dr. Slump"(Dr.スランプ)by Akira Toriyama(鳥山明), who's now much better known for the whole "Dragonball"(ドラゴンボール)phenomenon. After all of these years, I still prefer "Dr. Slump", and my entire collection of the original manga is occupying some dark corner of a cardboard box somewhere. I will make it my mandate to dig those out again.

Anyways, those ending credits belonged to the anime version of "Dr. Slump" as I would later learn, and the blonde woman was none other than Midori Yamabuki(山吹みどり), Arale-chan's(アラレちゃん)teacher and later stepmother as she would finally...and somewhat inexplicably...get married to Arale-chan's creator and father, the well-meaning but bumbling and perverted Senbe Norimaki(則巻千兵衛).

Considering that we graduates had gotten to Tokyo in the hot and steamy month of July, it was no wonder that the ending credits for the show switched over to something more festive, and the ending theme matched the typical summery environment for Japan which was the season of festivals. Therefore, each of the summer episodes ended with "Arale-chan Ondo" (Arale's Folk Song) with all of the characters gaily enjoying that festival atmosphere.

Heck, the seiyuu for Arale-chan herself, Mami Koyama(小山茉美), led the song herself with assistance from the children's choir, Otowa Yurikago Kai(音羽ゆりかご会). However, the choir was given the name Columbia Yurikago Kai(コロムビアゆりかご会)when it recorded theme songs for tokusatsu and anime since these were through the auspices of Nippon Columbia.

The video here was for the ending of the "Dr. Slump" movie. Minami Mitsu*(満都南)was the lyricist while Shunsuke Kikuchi(菊池俊輔)took care of the music. Kikuchi was also the fellow behind the first opening theme for the show, "Wai Wai World"(ワイワイワールド).

*Not totally sure on the transcription of the name into English. Once again, if someone knows for sure, please let me know.

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