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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Megumi Hayashibara -- November Rain

Today’s my dad’s birthday and that’s actually the only thing about November that I really care about (my dad doesn’t like Megumi’s songs, so that post is not really paying homage to him). Besides a couple of holidays here and there, nothing really exciting happens in this month. Also, as I always passes through November thinking about December, I consider it more like a transition month than anything.

Well, but if I had to choose a song that always comes to my mind when I think about November, that would be Megumi’s “November Rain”, a character song from the famous Ranma ½ ( らんま½) anime.

In Ranma ½, Megumi Hayashibara (林原めぐみ) got her first important role in an anime series, the part of female Ranma. Although I’m not going to describe the story here, it’s important to know that Ranma (早乙女乱馬) was a guy who, thanks to a Chinese curse, got transformed into a girl everytime cold water was thrown into him (hot water transformed him back into a guy). That said, “November Rain” starts with Akane (天道 あかね), the girl in love with Ranma, slapping him in the face just when the rain is about to start. Then, with the cold water (the rain), he turned into female Ranma, and that’s why Megumi actually sang the song.

Released in January 1991 as a single (literally a couple of months before her major label debut with the lovely “Nijiiro no Sneaker” [虹色のSneaker]), “November Rain” was Megumi’s third overall single. About the song itself, it’s quite nice to see how hard she tried to sing this sad love ballad with her yet untrained vocals. Although I agree that it isn’t a treat for everyone, I quite like the result, and the melancholic piano-driven arrangement helps as well. Unfortunately, though, “November Rain” was never included in any of Megumi’s albums. As a fan, I’d love to see a compilation with all of her rarities, but it will probably never happen.

“November Rain” reached #64 on the Oricon charts. Lyrics were written by Yoshiko Miura (三浦徳子) and Ranba-teki uta gekidan bungei-bu (乱馬的歌劇団文芸部), while music was composed by Tsugutoshi Gotou (後藤次利). As for the arrangement, Kenji Kawai (川井憲次) was the responsible.



  1. Hi, Marcos.

    Just saw Ms. Hayashibara in action some minutes as Ai Haibara in "Conan".

    Actually, I quite like "November Rain" as well...and the tandem of Yoshiko Miura and Tsugutoshi Goto is a pretty powerful one for an aidoru who was just starting out. Perhaps it's rather odd to say, but it has a somewhat European feel.

    Ah, best wishes for your father's birthday, by the way. :)

    1. Hi, J-Canuck.

      It's always nice to know that you had your share of Hayashibara today.

      Now that you said, I also noticed that having Tsugutoshi Goto in the team for November Rain was quite something for the girl. About Yoshiko Miura (I just corrected the name in the post), I did a quick research and found out that she had written songs for a lot of aidoru singers like Seiko-chan, Miporin and even Naoko Kawai's lovely debut single. Megumi was surely at good hands.

      I can see what you're talking about with the "European feel". I can definitely feel it too. In fact, the song is somewhat classy. What ruins the classy feel is Megumi's vocals, but I find them charming (here's the fan speaking)

      Thanks a lot. I just told him that my Canadian friend congratulated him. As today was a holiday here, my father didn't have to work, so he just had a quiet day watching movies on TV and listening to The Beatles (his favourite band).


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