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 4, 2021

miwa -- Kitto Kanau(キットカナウ)/Perfume -- Party Maker


The bombs bursting in air...

First off, Happy Birthday to the United States of America and best wishes to all of my friends who are living there and that includes KKP contributor Larry Chan and Come Along Radio's Rocket Brown in California, another friend to the blog, JTM in Hawaii, and all of the commenters as well living down in the USA.

My usage of one of Francis Scott Key's lyrics from "The Star-Spangled Banner" (composed by John Stafford Smith) wasn't just to recognize the fact that today was the Fourth of July but to also highlight the fact that Los Angeles Angel Shohei "Sho-time" Ohtani(大谷翔平)has been launching baseballs out of stadia like missiles with great frequency over the past several weeks. NHK Sports has been all over him like flypaper and the YouTube videos have also been covering this huge 6'4" behemoth of a baseball player from Iwate Prefecture.

Now, what does Sho-time have to do with the two Japanese music acts of very different styles? And no, nothing salacious here. Actually just to provide background for a few lines, I think this has been the case as well in Major League Baseball depending on the team but I gather that in Nippon Professional Baseball, teams have specific songs for star players whenever they first make their presence known on the field for a game. 

Since Ohtani has been both a pitcher and a hitter, during his time with the Nippon Ham Fighters in the NPB, he apparently had two songs for his field appearances that changed from season to season. Whenever he came up to bat during the 2014 season for instance, the song "Kitto Kanau" (Surely Come True) would be played over the speakers at home. 

"Kitto Kanau" is a coupling song for the 13th single "Faith" by singer-songwriter miwa which was released in February 2014. miwa has always left me with an impression of that lanky long-haired lady with megawatts of smile and an acoustic guitar since she has appeared on a number of music shows including NHK's Kohaku Utagassen. She first came to my attention when she along with 96 neko provided the jaunty theme song for the heartwarming anime "Flying Witch" (ふらいんぐうぃっち) . And although I'm sure that she's released her fair share of ballads and sad songs, my image of her has always been her high voice and very upbeat and down-home music. 

The music video for "Kitto Kanau" has miwa, apparently doused with Pym Particles, singing and walking on a young girl's desk as it looks like she's been cramming for exams. I also noticed the Kit Kat chocolate which is a popular lucky item to munch on during exam season since the name itself sounds similar to the Japanese phrase kitto katsu(きっと勝つ)which means "surely win or persevere". That can also apply to a particular young batter pounding out runs. The single itself peaked at No. 4 on Oricon, and "Kitto Kanau" was created by miwa and Naoki-T.

Now, as we go from a student's room to the dance floor, I also have to point out that whenever Ohtani hit the mound to throw his pitches in that 2014 season, the song of choice for him there was technopop trio Perfume's "Party Maker", a track from the group's October 2013 album "LEVEL 3". Yow! This is quite the barnburner of a Perfume song, and Perfume has put out a lot of power-packed songs over the years. I still haven't mastered all of the different genres in the dance or techno area but "Party Maker" is straight-on EDM...maybe?

In any case, the beats that often thump away at the ears are enough to envision a crowded dance floor, and in the J-Wiki article for "LEVEL 3", Yasutaka Nakata(中田ヤスタカ)stated that when he first heard the song, he was pretty much forced to get on up. Just imagine how Ham Fighter fans reacted when Ohtani came out on the field to this song. A gigantic disco ball probably descended several dozen metres over the pitcher's head. "LEVEL 3" hit No. 1 on the charts and eventually became the 23rd-ranked album for 2013. Still, I would think that "Party Maker" was also great whenever Ohtani hit one of those home runs out of the park.

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