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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Maki Watase -- Pearl Monde Kiss (パールモンド・Kiss)

Now, this is quite the find. As I read on a Japanese site, it wouldn't be surprising if there were quite a few folks who would be surprised on finding out the identity of this late 1980s aidoru. I had mentioned years ago when I wrote about rock band Lindberg's big hit "Ima Sugu Kiss Me"(今すぐkiss me)that I hadn't known anything about pixieish vocal Maki Watase's(渡瀬麻紀)brief aidoru past.

Well, here she is. Instead of the spiky-haired lady wearing those somewhat New Wave-y outfits, Watase had worn those cute aidoru-friendly dresses and sported a hairdo reminiscent of Akina Nakamori's(中森明菜)early days. To be honest, I had seen photos of her such as the one above in various magazines such as "Myojo" to advertise a talent management company so my knowledge of how she looked back at the beginning was already there. Apparently, she was inspired enough by Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子)that she decided to enter show business.

However, I hadn't known how she sounded until the last couple of days. Her debut was "Pearl Monde Kiss" which I think is how it would be romanized. It did help a little that the catchphrase attributed to her at the time was "Shinjuu no you na onna no ko"(真珠のような女の子...A girl like a pearl).

(starts at 2:12)

"Pearl Monde Kiss" was released in June 1987 and it was written and composed by Kyoko Matsumiya(松宮恭子). A not-too-bad peppy tune with a plethora of squeaky synths, it's interesting to see Watase bopping around making those typical aidoru moves with her hands and arms. She definitely wouldn't have looked out of place on any of those variety shows with musical segments.

I don't know how her debut single did or how her aidoru age went but sometime in 1988, she got acquainted with Tatsuya Hirakawa(平川達也)who was one of the backup musicians during that time. Hirakawa in turn introduced her to his buddies Tomohisa Kawazoe(川添智久)and Masanori Koyanagi(小柳昌法)and they all created Lindberg with their debut in 1989.

Apparently no albums came out of her time as an aidoru with only 3 singles marking her time as a teenybopper singer. However, her first album as a solo pop singer was released in September 1995, "message d'amour" which had a markedly more mature sound when compared to those early days. By that point, her name was slightly changed to 渡瀬マキ.

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