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.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Osny Melo -- Hitomi no Naka de ~ A Ilusão Em Mim(瞳のなかで)


On the whole, I love Japanese food. I grew up on the cuisine and frankly speaking, I even grew fatter on it while I was living in Japan all those years. Yet, there were some items that I could never really wrap my palate around, and that would include the otherwise healthy natto. In addition, although I do love nabe (hot pot), motsu nabe is something that I never tried because the main ingredient happens to be some form of tripe or offal.

However, there were those examples that fall in between. Tokyo's monjayaki can be considered to be one of them. I will not try to describe it here lest I inadvertently offend those fans of the dish and instead I'll just ask you to either Google or YouTube it, but despite the appearance, I have grown to enjoy it although I will always prefer okonomiyaki from Western Japan. And getting back to the motsu, I actually started eating it at those yakiniku places in its grilled form in my last few years in the country.

And then there is Pocari Sweat, the isotonic soft drink. The Japanese sure love their healthy drinks. I mean, over here in North America, we basically have just Gatorade, but in Japan, there are all of those tiny vitamin drinks sold in convenience stores and the like, and then there are the isotonic drinks such as Pocari Sweat and Aquarius. When I first tried the drink, my first impression, and yes, my advance apologies to those who have always liked the drink, was that if hundreds of millilitres of my sweat were mixed with sugar and then refrigerated, then this would be Pocari Sweat. In other words, I wasn't too impressed initially. But over the years, I did grow to appreciate it once I weaned myself off the notion that all canned soft drinks had to taste supremely sweet like Coca-Cola or Max Coffee. Plus, during the torrid summers, Pocari Sweat was probably a good thing to down.

Anyways, my preamble for a drink that I haven't sampled in some years is due to the song of this article. Osny Melo is a name that I've encountered here and there and now and then as a Japanese pop song fan but there isn't a whole lot written about him. In fact, the only substantial biographical information that I could find on him was at Discogs in which it's said that "Osny Melo is a Brasilian (sic) producer, arranger, composer and multi-instrumentalist who worked extensively in Japanese music industry during the 1980's and 90's."

Melo is already fairly well represented on KKP with him composing music for Akina Nakamori(中森明菜)and Akiko Kobayashi(小林明子). Especially for the former, his "Standing In Blue" for Nakamori's "Cruise" album in 1989 is a very distinctive and atmospheric piece. But up to now, I never heard the man himself behind the mike.

Well, that has now changed since I found this song by him that was used for a Pocari Sweat commercial in 1985, and though I couldn't find the actual ad on YouTube unfortunately, I did track down the song. "Hitomi no Naka de ~ A Ilusão Em Mim" (In One's Eyes ~ The Illusion In Me) is a Melo single that is also quite atmospheric. This time, though, he's provided the lyrics while Daisuke Inoue(井上大輔)came up with the mysterious music that brings to mind a bit of WHAM!'s "Careless Whisper" and even some of the early and moody songs by Anzen Chitai(安全地帯). Melo's vocals even hint at a bit of Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant. "Hitomi no Naka de" has that feeling of urban contemporary but I'm not sure if it would be something along the lines of City Pop. Still, I'm left wondering what the commercial for Pocari Sweat was like with this particular song. Did they serve the drink in champagne flutes with olives in them?

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