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, June 16, 2015

Misaki Iwasa -- Hatsuzake (初酒)

Carrying on the good vibes from "Kayo Concert"(歌謡コンサート)tonight, I got to hear some very pleasant and relaxing enka from an AKB48 member, Misaki Iwasa(岩佐美咲). Airi Suzuki(鈴木愛理)from the Hello Project group ℃-ute was also on for the duets portion but when Iwasa appeared on the stage in her kimono, I didn't have any idea that she was part of AKB48 until I listened to her brief interview with the host. Suddenly memories of aidoru/enka singers came to mind such as Yuko Nakazawa(中澤裕子)from Morning Musume(モーニング娘。)and Sanae Jonouchi(城之内早苗)from Onyanko Club(おニャン子クラブ).

"Hatsuzake" (First Drink) is Iwasa's 4th single as a solo singer from April 2015. The lyrics were provided by Yasushi Akimoto(秋元康)and Kyosuke Hayakawa(早川響介)provided the music. The song involves a woman's musings about all of the tough times leading up to adulthood (officially 20 years of age in Japan) and then having her wonder about taking that first sip of the good stuff as a spiritual rite of passage. Of course, "Kayo Concert" host Tetsuya Takayama asked Iwasa, who had turned 20 earlier in January, whether she had already taken her first drink to which the Chiba native replied that she had indeed bought a can of beer and guzzled it down. She added that it tasted a lot better than she had expected. Iwasa was definitely a whole lot more successful than I ever was.

In any case, "Hatsuzake" peaked at No. 13 on Oricon but on the Oricon enka charts, it hit the No. 1 spot. In its initial release, the song was able to sell over 10,000 copies.

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