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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Theme from Space Cruiser Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト)-- Isao Sasaki

I heard a sound yesterday while I was having brunch with my good friend, The Anime King, at EggsSmart. And that was my jaw hitting the table, rattling my scrambled eggs and sausages, when he told me that "Space Cruiser Yamato" was being rebooted and premiering in less than 2 months, kinda like J.J. Abrams' 2009 "Star Trek". Of course, me being the late bloomer that I always have been, I found out several months after the news had been officially given...even before I left Japan (hanging my head in shame).

Over here in North America, of course, it was known as the just-as-beloved "Star Blazers". As junior high schoolers back in the late 70s, a lot of us basically sprinted home once class ended at 3:15 so that we could catch the adventures of Captain Avatar, Derek Wildstar and company heading for Iscandar to get the Earth-saving Cosmo DNA. And just like John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra did for "Star Wars"in 1977, voice actor/singer Isao Sasaki(ささきいさお) and the songwriting partnership of Yu Aku (阿久悠)and Hiroshi Miyagawa (宮川泰) was that 10th baseball player on the team with what is arguably the most famous anime theme song of all. It can probably still rouse us 40-somethings out of our armchairs and salute the TV. Then again, it was composed to be a military march.

That opening fanfare can still get my hair standing straight up on the back of my neck, even 38 years after it first played on the Nippon Television Network. It's been played at various venues, and that even includes the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City one year by the city's police department marching band!

Yu Aku wrote the lyrics for the song. He was basically the Irving Berlin of Japanese popular music, having written for dozens of enka and pop singers including Pink Lady and Beat Takeshi (yup, he also sang, too).

Well, I'm keeping my ears peeled to hear how the theme sounds like in 2012. The 70-year-old Sasaki will be doing this one, too.

Good introductory entry for anison.(アニメ・ソング)

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