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.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Kumiko Ohsugi -- Sogen no Shojo no Laura(草原の少女ローラ)


Back in the 1970s, the NBC show "Little House on the Prairie" based loosely on Laura Ingalls Wilder's novels was must-see TV for us and many others. In the current era where opening credit sequences have become as rare as common sense in my brain, it's still nice and poignant to see something like the opening for "Little House on the Prairie" with Charles and Caroline driving the wagon while the three Ingalls daughters run down the hill (poor Carrie always trips over but she gets right back up!).

"Little House on the Prairie" was also shown in reruns on Japanese television and while I was living there, I made the mistake of catching one episode titled "The Lord Is My Shepherd" since I had some time before heading out of the apartment to meet friends for dinner. This was the "very special" episode where Laura gets all jealous of a new baby brother and he ends up dying from disease. So, she runs away from home with a very heavy case of guilt and meets up with a mysterious mountain man played by the late Ernest Borgnine. By the end, when Laura and Pa make their reunion, I was tearing up as if a sack of peeled onions made a beeline toward my eyes. Heading out to the subway, I think pedestrians were wondering if I'd broken up with a girlfriend or something. Fortunately, by the time, I reached Shibuya, I could jettison all those wads of Kleenex. Even watching the above video....excuse, I got something in both my eyes...😭

OK....deep breaths...compose yourself. Buy new Kleenex. Anyways, what I hadn't known was that about a year following the premiere of the NBC show, TBS in Japan decided to broadcast their own anime take on "Little House on the Prairie" in the fall of 1975. Titled "Sogen no Shojo no Laura" (Laura The Prairie Girl), the opening theme song of the same name by veteran anison singer Kumiko Ohsugi(大杉久美子)is as adorable as the opening credits for the show with, of course, that country banjo helping out.

Tokiko Iwatani(岩谷時子)came up with the lyrics while the music was handled by Makoto Kawaguchi(川口真). Apparently the show did get over to a number of countries. In fact, I found this version of Episode 1 that I believe has been dubbed into Italian.

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