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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Masanori Ikeda -- Night of Summerside

First off, my admiration and respects to 6_6 tina for this wonderful drawing of the main characters of "Kimagure Orange Road"(きまぐれオレンジ☆ロード), one of the quintessential anime from the 80s. I had just done an article on another Kanako Wada(和田加奈子)song the other day that had nothing to do with "KOR" so I thought I would do a KOR theme song today that had nothing to do with Wada.

Coincidentally, my anime buddy was playing his usual block of anison yesterday and that included a chunk of theme songs from that particular anime including the very first opening theme for "KOR", Masanori Ikeda's(池田政典)"Night of Summerside". I'm sure the producers for the anime version of the manga were probably knocking heads together about what type of song they would put in to introduce the story of Kyosuke, Madoka and Hikaru, and they obviously went with a tune that launched things off to a very zippy and urban tempo. Man, if those were indeed the opening credits to "Kimagure Orange Road" above, I would definitely recommend folks to watch them in a very well-lit room!

"Night of Summerside" was Ikeda's 3rd single from May 1987 and I was quite surprised on listening to it that the singer/actor/seiyuu was still only 20 years old when this was recorded. He sounded like an assured City Pop veteran who had been through the gamut of harbour-side and hotel-top bars. One commenter for one of the YouTube videos of the song remarked that the dynamic tune sounded so 80s, something that wasn't lost on me since there is something very Omega Tribe about the arrangement. And in fact, Kiyotaka Sugiyama(杉山清貴), who had been the first vocalist for the very 80s Omega Tribe, was Ikeda's sempai in the same management company. According to Ikeda's bio on J-Wiki, Sugiyama presented Ikeda with a pair of his trademark sunglasses which Ikeda proceeded to wear when singing "Night of Summerside".

Yup, summery indeed. I had assumed that "Night of Summerside" was another collaboration between Chinfa Kan and Tetsuji Hayashi(康珍化・林哲司)who had whipped up a number of songs for the kayo-symbolic singers of summer, Omega Tribe and Anri(杏里). However, as it turned out, Ikeda's representative tune was actually written by Masao Urino(売野雅勇)and composed by the band NOBODY. It became the singer's first Top 10 hit by ranking in at No. 10. It would seem everyone was a winner with this one...success for singer and songwriters, and the successful launch of a legendary anime.

The J-Wiki bio also mentions that his music career ended sometime in the early 90s with Ikeda moving fully into acting.


  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Ikeda's classic "Night of Summerside", and, today, I still like to begin many of my 80s playlists with it.

    I agree with everyrhing you pointed out, from the Omega Tribe-esque sound to the song's summery vibe. In fact, I think this positive urban feeling conects very well with Ikeda's vocals. My only surprise was to how young he was when the song was released. I could never guess he was only 20 years old at the time (he did sound like a more experienced dude).

    Other than that, the dreamy City Pop sound never gets old. I can only imagine Japan's post-modern consumerist society when I listen to songs like "Night of Summerside". It's as if I could really feel the wind in my face while in a car listening to it.

    I'd love to hear other songs by him in the same vein as "Night of Summerside". In fact, I know another one by him, which is second single "Shadow Dancer", so I'm aware of "Night of Summerside" not being his only good City Pop song.

  2. I can't separate 'Night of Summerside' from the KOR anime, but I can appreciate now how it is very 80s and very City Pop. I'll track down 'Shadow Dancer'.


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