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, March 9, 2013

CoCo -- EQUAL Romance (EQUALロマンス)

I remember that “EQUAL Romance” (EQUALロマンス), by aidoru group CoCo, was the first “old” Japanese song that I ever listened. It was used as the second ending theme for the anime Ranma ½ (らんま1/2), which I was watching at the time.

About the particular performance chosen to start the article, I was very lucky to find it on YouTube, because it was the one that I saw while listening to the song for the first time back in 2006. My first reaction was “WOW! THAT’S KINDA OLD”. We can surely understand this reaction because, at the time, I was not accustomed of seeing girls wearing those kinds of clothes with cute little smiles on their faces while dancing inside a strange blue box lost in the middle of a black background. In general, aidoru culture was just something new and strange for me.

“EQUAL Romance” was CoCo’s debut single back in July 1989. As for the song, it is a typical aidoru synth-pop tune of the late 80s, with some cute vocals and a girly melody behind it. I really like it. It’s just a happy-go-lucky song from the end of the so called aidoru era.

To be honest, though, CoCo’s discography, as a whole, is not my everyday cup of tea. But I must confess that the group and some of their songs are cute and fun. And if purity and naivety are two of the top aidoru qualities, CoCo surely succeeds on it. Their faces and expressions just make the spectator want to take care of them.

“EQUAL Romance” reached #7 on the weekly Oricon charts, selling 119,140 copies. It also reached #82 on the yearly Oricon chart for 1989 (source: generasia). The song was later included on CoCo’s first album, “Strawberry”. As for the lyrics, they were written by Neko Oikawa (及川眠子). The music was composed by Mioko Yamaguchi (山口美央子) and the arrangement was made by Satoshi Nakamura (中村哲).


  1. Hi, Marcos.

    I think you made a couple of my old students quite happy by posting this one up. One of them (she's also an anime fan) was very proud in saying that she used to sing to it all the time.

    1. That's great. I surely sang this song a lot of times in the past either. It's so much fun.

  2. In the beginning of their career CoCo was a regular guest to tv show Paradise Go Go, hosted by Masashi Tashiro. When their 2nd single Hanbun Fushigi was released, the first tv performance took place in that show. 4th position on Oricon was celebrated in the show by opening a congratulation ball. (There must be a name for that object, but I haven't learned it yet! J-Canuck should know...?).

    Same old: Sadly, most of ParaGoGo videos have been deleted from Tube.

    Equal Romance has proved to be an anime classic. It was used again 15 years later when Priere recorded it for Digi Charat Nyo. As the other song that Japanese animation used a Belgian Eurovision tune composed by a Swedish composer - and that's roughly the most far-fetched scenario one can imagine. X-)

    1. Hi, jari lehtinen.

      "Hanbun Fushigi" is a nice song too. But besides "EQUAL Romance", I enjoy "Yokohama Boy Style".

      I know what you're talking when you say "congratulation ball". They were quite common on "The Best Ten" too. I've seen a lot of those when Akina Nakamori achieved No. 1 on the show.

      It's a pity when videos are deleted from YouTube. That's why I always download the ones I really care (mostly TV performances). A lot of rarities have been deleted, unfortunately.

      Oh yeah. Im aware that the song was used in Digi Charat Nyo. The cover is alright, but it lacks the late 80s feel in the arrangements.

      I don't know about the "Belgian Eurovisian tune" you mentioned. Do you remember the name os the song? I'm always very interested in the European pop/dance scene, as Japan takes a lot from them too.

  3. Now when I remember carefully, the case was even more complicated!

    Belgium 1996: Lisa del Bo: Liefde is een Kaartspel (Love is a game of cards), composers John Terra, Sirak Brogden.

    Sweden 2001: Friends: Listen To Your Heartbeat, composer Thomas G:sson. (Same chorus!)

    Digi Charat Nyo 2003: Priere: Heartbeat, composer Thomas G:sson.

    Belgians accused that Swedish entry was plagiarised from them. Belgian songwriters' authority proceeded a legal action, but the case was pulled because they agreed a cash settlement.

    So it goes.

  4. This song is where my interest in classic idols started. Like you, I also first heard it in 2006. I remember being hooked on its instrumental intro and the girls' bright voices. I'm not sure if feeling nostalgic at 16 is normal, but that's what this song did to me then.

    1. We have the same age. I was 16 at the time too.

      And I'd say that feeling nostalgic at 16 is kinda normal, because I felt this way a lot of times back then, especially with "EQUAL Romance" and some other songs that I used to listen at the time.

      Although my first contact with classic idols was with "EQUAL Romance" too, it wasn't the start of my full interest about them. This came with Chisato Moritaka some years later.


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.