TGIF! Not quite as gloomy as it was yesterday but still fairly cool out there.
Now I have heard of the 1990s band MANISH which featured a couple of rock-out female singers but never really got into their music. However, over the past little while, I was able to find out some interesting information about they came to be. In 1991, the Japanese talent agency, Stardust Promotion, created a karate performance group (!) out of some of its members and called it Actions with periodic shows held at Arisugawa-no-Miya Memorial Park in Tokyo.
Well, four of its members, Misuzu Takahashi（高橋美鈴）, Mari Nishimoto（西本麻里）, Akira Nishizawa（石沢晶）and Sayuri Tsuchiya（土屋さゆり）became an aidoru unit to create just one song before disbanding (one and done, so to speak). The group was DALI and the song was "Moonlight Densetsu"（ムーンライト伝説）...the famous opening theme song for the original anime "Sailor Moon"（美少女戦士セーラームーン）. However, Takahashi and Nishimoto opted to keep the music going in a more powerful direction under the name of MANISH. As for the derivation of the name, both ladies had been called tomboys back in their childhood, although even the J-Wiki article about them pointed out that the word is actually spelled mannish. Another theory that has been bandied about is that the name was a merger of MAri NISHimoto.
MANISH had a good run of 6 years (1992-1998) which saw a number of hits come about, including their 10th of 12 singles, "Kirameku Toki ni Torawarete" (Caught by the Glittering Moment). I gotta say that I like the bass line on this one, including the chugging sound at the very beginning. Listening to it, I would never have thought Takahashi and Nishimoto were one-half of the group responsible for one of the most iconic theme songs in recent anime history.
MANISH's "Kirameku Toki ni Torawarate" was also the third ending theme for another long-running manga-and-anime series "Slam Dunk". I've never been a basketball fan either but even I had heard of this one through some of my students. And the song works well with "Slam Dunk" since it does have that progressing muscular beat. Plus, I gotta say that it does sound quite a bit like ZARD. I wonder whether the lot of Japanese female rock singers sounded like her at the time.
The song came out in February 1995 and became their greatest hit. Takahashi and Daria Kawashima (川島だりあ...who also came up with "Moonlight Densetsu") created "Kirameku Toki ni Torawarete" which sold over 200,000 copies. It hit No. 6 on Oricon and ended up as the 83rd-ranked single of the year.