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, July 25, 2017

Hitomi Tohyama -- Sexy Robot

About a couple of months ago when we were on that cruise in the Western Caribbean, I didn't find much different with the layout of the Harmony of the Seas (which is currently the largest cruise ship on the planet until the Symphony of the Seas gets its launch early next year) when compared to the Oasis of the Seas that we had shipped on a few years ago. Deck 5, which I guess would be called the Promenade Deck, had most of the shops that we remembered on the Oasis in the same positions on the Harmony. But there were two differences.

One was that the cupcake shop was no longer there (darn!). The other was that there was The Bionic Bar. Two robots, Bio and Nic, and a rotation of handlers took care of their share of the cocktails in one corner of Deck 5. It was one of the few instances that I had ever witnessed where the bartenders garnered more attention than the drinks themselves. And on the fourth day of the cruise, I finally relented, went into the bar and made my order via a Samsung tablet for a simple Rum and Coke.

Not quite sure who took care of my order, Bio or Nic. But one of them dutifully pressed out the requisite cola and double shot of rum, and poured the mixture into my plastic glass. I have to say that it was a good Rum and Coke....probably too good, though. I was fairly floating for the rest of the evening. And if I had stayed at the Bionic Bar, I probably would have found the (TORTURED SEGUE ALERT) robots sexier than the comely young handler/systems operator who handed me the tablet.

OK, first off...I have no idea how Japanese R&B singer, Hitomi "Penny" Tohyama(当山ひとみ)nor the creators of this song, lyricist Chinfa Kan(康珍化)and composer Yoshihiro Yonekura(米倉良弘), came up with the idea for this song "Sexy Robot", the title track from her 1983 5th album. Perhaps they had some potent Rum and Cokes, too...or they were inspired by some of the robotic forms of breakdancing that were hot at the time in America and elsewhere.

In any case, it's an intriguing funky tune about someone who has apparently fallen for the Cybermen or the Replicants from "Blade Runner". And I can't doubt Tohyama's vocals which go all in for the song. Another notable observation is that she sounds quite a bit like another City Pop singer, Miki Matsubara(松原みき), with this particular song.

I'm sure with the pop cultural references of robots in Japan, there are most likely a lot of Japanese music fans who will listen to "Sexy Robot" and see the title, and figure that it's a most appropriate tune. For my part, I would just like to ask Tohyama and Kan about how the title and lyrics came about. There are many more R&B tunes from both sides of the Pacific that I would place higher than this one, but it's a pleasant enough ditty that does its part to add to the goofy and mystical side of Japanese pop.

My question is whether Bio or Nic was
able to pick up and drop the lemon wedge
into my Rum and Coke.

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