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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, August 2, 2019

Joe Hisaishi -- Kaerazaru Hibi(帰らざる日々)



I have to admit that I have never seen Hayao Miyazaki's(宮崎駿)"Kurenai no Buta"(紅の豚...Porco Rosso)from 1992, although I've heard plenty about it. Just looking at the poster for the first time, I was kinda left scratching my head about an intrepid pig fighting enemies in the sky during World War I. At the time, I'd assumed that it was only pet beagles of round-headed kids who were allowed to do that sort of thing, but hey that's fine. In any case, from Studio Ghibli, I've seen a cat bus, a teenage witch and a wolf-raised princess but not a flying porcine ace.


Having said that, I've discovered one piece from the "Kurenai no Buta" soundtrack composed by perennial go-to composer for Studio Ghibli, Joe Hisaishi(久石譲). Titled "Kaerazaru Hibi" (Bygone Days), it hit me right in the heart. Classy, jazzy, melancholy, deeply romantic and cool all at the same time, I don't where it comes in during the movie, but I can only imagine that it has the title character nursing a martini in some swanky party hall while everyone else is living it up on the dance floor. Porco Rosso is probably surrounded by a wealth of the beautiful people and yet be the loneliest presence in the place.


It's awfully hard to choose...whether I like the originally recorded track or the concert version  performed here by Hisaishi. His piano is wonderful but I also love the "drunken" trombone solo and the truly vivacious clarinet that aren't in the original version...it adds some more to my image of what's happening with Porco. My opinion coming up is perhaps out of left field, but I think that this can be a Taisho or early Showa Era theme for a then-contemporary samurai warrior inserting himself into someone else's troubles and solving them before having to leave again on his lonely wanderings, despite any potential romances. It can describe Porco himself. In any case, a wonderful piece of music.

7 comments:

  1. The central story theme of Porco Rosso is seen when the protagonist, human back then, dreams seeing his fellow pilots, both on his side and on the other, flying to some unknown destination, but they don't respond when he calls to them, nor can he do anything to join them. Porco is a survivor of WWI, and has survivor's guilt, changing metaphorically and literally into a pig during the inter-war years. This tune is the central musical theme of the film, harking nostalgically back to his youth.

    The story theme goes full on in the end credits with this song performed by the voice actress for Gina, the female lead.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN2CqL7hjfY

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  2. Hello, Jim.

    If I'm not mistaken, folk singer Tokiko Kato had the role of Gina? "Kaerazaru Hibi" is truly a moving song.

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  3. Another Hisaishi piece, this time from Tonari no Totoro. It's hard to find on youtube because Ghibli takes them down fairly quickly. However here's one on DM. It's called Maigo, the vocal version of an instrumental that appears in the film. Azumi Inoue is at her most beautiful in this.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu9oxz

    And yeah, Tokiko Kato plays Gina in the film, so I thought you'd recognise the voice. In the trailer, she sings Le Temps des Cerises.

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  4. Another Hisaishi curio. Kaze no Toorimichi from Totoro. It appears in the film as an instrumental. On the image album, it's performed by a choir. Here, it's sung by Sarah Brightman.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0yyoX8wK_g

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Jim.

      By chance, have you had a chance to visit the Ghibli Museum?

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  5. I've never been. I'd love to go if I'm ever in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to go as well although I'm not that huge a Ghibli fan. But I hear that applicants have to go through a few hoops in the reservation process.

      Delete

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.