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, June 11, 2021

Nona Reeves -- Love Together


Years ago while I was living in Ichikawa, an old friend of mine used to visit the apartment from time to time, and he enjoyed bringing over the various game platforms including the original Sony PlayStation. Of course, I had other friends who also enjoyed playing video games so whenever my friend arrived, they did too. It was often the case that when I had to finally hit the hay, they would just continue playing on in the living room.

One unique game that my friend brought over was "PaRappa the Rapper"(パラッパラッパー), the 1990s music game produced by PSY-S' Masaya Matsuura(松浦雅也)that actually had the players rapping through the controls. The main character was PaRappa the dog who would do anything to gain the love of Sunny Funny the flower. Yes, realizing that this was all an imaginative flight of fancy, I still can't even imagine what pollination might mean between them. Usually when I think of dogs and flowers, there is another basic bodily function that comes to mind between the two, but since that in the milieu of PaRappa and Sunny Funny, that might take things into a far more disturbing fetishistic situation, I will just leave it there.

Anyways, the game apparently did have its fans and I remember a couple of things the best about "PaRappa the Rapper". One was the above beginning stage featuring PaRappa being trained by Chop Chop Master Onion. I even gave it a shot myself and barely passed...unlike Gene Kelly, I got no rhythm. The other thing was the darn humourous part in the story when PaRappa really needed to hit a washroom and he was making all sorts of grimacing faces which had Sunny Funny mistakenly thinking that her dog buddy was looking especially kakkoii for her.

Well, "PaRappa the Rapper" had its time in the sun before rappers and players decided to move onto games. What I hadn't known was that Fuji-TV actually had an anime version of the game produced and broadcast for almost a year beginning in April 2001. There were some pretty nice opening credits adorned with a catchy theme by the band Nona Reeves(ノーナ・リーヴス), "Love Together". Hey, bring back that crazy disco beat!

Written and composed by Nona Reeves' vocalist, Gota Nishidera(西寺郷太), "Love Together ~ PaRappa Mix" was released in May 2001 as their 8th single. It reached No. 67 on the Oricon charts. The results may have been rather modest, but I think the song is still good fun and perhaps it could have been used in a revival of the game.

"Love Together" actually had a prior release as Nona Reeves' 6th single in March 2000 and there isn't too much difference that I heard between the two versions aside from the fact that the DJ scratching was only included in the "PaRappa Mix".

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