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, January 12, 2014

Onyanko Club -- Jaa Ne (じゃあね)

I heard Onyanko Club's(おニャン子クラブ) "Jaa Ne" (See Ya) on "Sounds of Japan", and the music was so adorably catchy that the co-host was overheard singing to it on air. In fact, I had to catch myself from shimmying to it.

The 80s precursor to the behemoth that is AKB 48 (and its sister groups within and without Japan), Onyanko Club, released "Jaa Ne" as its 3rd single in February 1986 and eventually became the group's biggest hit. It was their first song to hit No. 1 on Oricon. Written by Yasushi Akimoto(秋元康) and composed by Ken Takahashi(高橋研), it's got a cute jingly beat with that 50s saxophone, and has lyrics that are much less suggestive than those from their debut single, "Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide".  After all, the song is about graduation, an adolescent event that is held in even greater esteem in Japan. I mean, the ceremony of classmates parting after years together can get so emotionally draining. Believe me, I've witnessed it.

Originally, "Jaa Ne" was to be released under "Miharu Nakajima and Onyanko Club" since the lead vocal was the girl herself, but she asked that her name not be included since she was a real trouper about it. Incidentally, Nakajima(中島美春) did indeed graduate from the club just a month after the song's release, and retired from show business altogether. However, she has often shown up at the club's reunion events and even married the guy who manages the comedy duo, The Tunnels.

I listened to it again after so long tonight, and I'm still shimmying to it. "Jaa Ne" managed to become the 23rd-ranked song of the year.

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