Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Nostalgia Series - Old drama theme songs: "Loveland, Island" by Yamashita Tatsuro

Back in 2002, there was this drama which I really enjoyed a lot. The cast lineup was filled with many current hot stars and upcoming ones that it would be almost impossible to see these people come together again now. Despite my reservations on how the drama would turn out because the source material was somewhat gory and controversial, I thought that the drama was one of the more successful adaptations of having deviated from the original.

"Long Love Letter ~ Hyoryuu Kyoushitsu" which was shown in the Winter 2002 season by FujiTV, featured a long list of big stars including Tokiwa Takako, Kubozuka Yosuke, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Yamashita Tomohisa, Yamada Takayuki, Karina, Mizukawa Asami and Fukushi Seiji. Ichihara Hayato who played one of the Year 1 students stranded in the future, appeared in the beginning though but left the drama halfway. Back then, Kubozuka was very sought-after following his success in dramas such as "GTO", "Ikebukuro West Gate Park" and "Strawberry on the shortcake". However, following his semi-retirement after getting married in 2003 and his "accidental" fall from his home on the 9th floor of an apartment building in 2004, Kubozuka has not been seen in a private network's full-length drama series so this drama happens to be his last as the lead. It is a pity though because I really liked him as an actor but the good thing is that Kubozuka is still active in the movie industry. Likewise, Tokiwa, Tsumabuki and Yamada are more involved in movies than dramas while Yamashita, Karina, Mizukawa, Fukushi and Ichihara have enjoyed varying degrees of success in dramas and movies.

Despite the fact that this drama was shown in the cold winter, the theme song from Yamashita Tatsuro is actually set in the summer on an island which I suppose is a reference to the fact that the people stranded in the future were in a situation as if they were stranded on an island. At that time, I didn't understand the lyrics fully but I really liked the retro and light-footed feel of the melody and thought that it was strangely fitting with a drama that had a pretty gloomy theme. No doubt Yamashita has been singing for a long time, his songs don't seem to go out of fashion no matter when you listen to it. Due to the fact that the drama was set largely in Yokohama, I always get reminded of the sights in the Minato Mirai area and the wonderful chemistry between Tokiwa and Kubozuka in the drama when I hear this song.

If you are interested to hear this song, please view here.

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